Digitized by the Internet Archive
ROUND ABOUT THE
ANDREW F. CROSSE
FELLOW OF THE CHEMICAL SOCIETY
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
The Rigid of Translation is reserved
MUIR AND PATERSON, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.
Down the Danube from Buda-Pest — Amusements on board the
steamer — Basiash — Drive to Oravicza by Weisskirchen —
Ladies of Oravicza— Gipsy music — Finding an old school-
fellow — The czardas . . . . .1
Consequences of trying to buy a horse — An expedition into
Servia — Fine scenery — The peasants of New Moldova —
Szechenyi road — Geology of the defile of Kasan — Crossing
the Danube — Milanovacz — Drive to Maidenpek — Fearful
storm in the mountains — Miserable quarters for the night
— Extent of this storm — The disastrous effects of the same
storm at Buda-Pest — Great loss of life . . .15
Maidenpek — Well-to-do condition of Servians — Lady Mary
Wortley Montague's journey through Servia — Troubles
in Bulgaria — Communists at Negotin — Copper mines —
Forest ride — Robbers on the road — Kucainia — Belo-breska
— Across the Danube — Detention at customhouse — Weiss-
kirchen — Sleeping Wallacks . . . .33
Variety of races in Hungary — Wallacks or Roumains — Statistics
— Savage outbreak of the Wallacks in former years —
Panslavic ideas — Roumanians and their origin — Priests
of the Greek Church — Destruction of forests — Spirit of
Communism — Incendiary fires . . . .46
Paraffine- works in Oravicza — Gold mine — Coal mine3 at Auima-
Steirdorf — Geology — States Railway Company's mines —
Bribery . . . . . . .54
Mineral wealth of the Banat — Wild ride to Dognacska —
Equipment for a riding tour — An afternoon nap and its
consequences — Copper mines — Self-help — Rare insects —
Moravicza — Rare minerals — Deutsch Bogsan — Reschitza . 58
Election at Oravicza — Officialism — Reforms — Society — Ride to
Szaszka — Fine views — Drenkova — Character of the Serbs
— Svenica — Rough night walk through the forest . .70
Hospitable welcome at Uibanya — Excursion to the Servian side
of the Danube — Ascent of the Stierberg — Bivouac in the
woods — Magnificent views towards the Balkans — Fourteen
eagles disturbed — Wallack dance . . . .83
A hunting expedition proposed — Drive from Uibanya to
Orsova — Oriental aspect of the market-place — Cserna
Valley — Hercules-Bad, Mehadia — Post-office mistakes —
Drive to Karansebes — Rough customers en route — Law-
lessness — Fair at Karansebes — Podolian cattle — Ferocious
dogs ........ 90
Post-office at Karansebes — Good headquarters for a sports-
man — Preparations for a week in the mountains — The
party starting for the hunt — Adventures by the way —
Fine trees— Game — Hut in the forest — Beauty of the
scenery in the Southern Carpathians . . .104
Chamois and bear hunting — First battue — Luxurious dinner
5000 feet above the sea-level — Storm in the night —
Discomforts — The bear's supper — The eagle's breakfast —
Second and third day's shooting — Baking a friend as a
cure for fever — Striking camp — View into Eoumania . 118
Back at Mehadia — Troubles about a carriage — An unexpected
night on the road — Return to Karansebes — On horseback
through the Iron Gate Pass — Varhely, the ancient capital
of Dacia — Roman remains — Beauty of the Hatszeg Valley 131
Hungarian hospitality — Wallack laziness — Fishing — " Settled
gipsies " — Anecdote — Old regime — Fire — Old Roman
bath — The avifauna of Transylvania — Fly-fishing . 140
On horseback to Petroseny — A new town — Valuable coal-
fields — Killing fish with dynamite and poison — Singular
manner of repairing roads — Hungarian patriotism — Story
of Hunyadi Janos — Intrusion of the Moslems into Europe 152
Hunting for a guide — School statistics — Old times — Over the
mountains to Herrmannstadt — Night in the open — Nearly
setting the forest on fire — Orlat . . . .160
Herrmannstadt — Saxon immigrants — Museum — Places of
interest in the neighbourhood — The fortress-churches —
Heltau— The Rothen Thurm Pass — Turkish incursions . 173
Magyar intolerance of the German — Patriotic revival of the
Magyar language — Ride from Herrmannstadt to Kron-
stadt — The village of Zeiden — Curious scene in church —
Reformation in Transylvania — Political bitterness between
Saxons and Magyars in 1848 . . . .184
Political difficulties — Impatient criticism of foreigners —
Hungary has everything to do — Tenant-farmers wanted —
Wages ....... 195
Want of progress amongst the Saxons — The Burzenland — Kron-
stadt — Mixed character of its inhabitants — Szeklers —
General Bern's campaign ..... 199
TheTomoscher Pass — Projected railway from Kronstadt to
Bucharest — Visit to the cavalry barracks at Rosenau —
Terzburg Pass — Dr Daubeny on the extinct volcanoes of
Hungary — Professor Judd on mineral deposits . . 209
A ride through Szeklerland — Warnings about robbers — Buk-
sad — A look at the sulphur deposits on Mount Budos — A
lonely lake — An invitation to Tusnad . . .219
The baths of Tusnad — The state of affairs before 1848 — In-
equality of taxation — Reform — The existing land laws —
Communal property — Complete registration of titles to
estates — Question of entail ..... 232
Fine scenery in Szeklerland — Csik Szent Marton — Absence of
inns — The Szekler's love of lawsuits— Csik Szereda — Hos-
pitality along the road — Wallack atrocities in 1848 — The
Wallacks not Panslavists . . . . .243
Ride to Szent Domokos — Difficulty about quarters — Interesting
host — Jewish question in Hungary — Taxation — Financial
matters ....... 252
Copper mine of Balanbanya — Miners in the wine-shop — Ride
to St Miklos — Visit to an Armenian family — Capture of
a robber — Cold ride to the baths of Borsek . . 260
Moldavian frontier — Tolgyes — Excitement about robbers —
Attempt at extortion — A ride over the mountains — Return
to St Miklos ...... 275
Toplicza — Armenian hospitality — A bear-hunt — A ride over to
the frontier of Bukovina — Destruction of timber — Mal-
administration of State property — An unpleasant night on
the mountain — Snowstorm .... 282
Visits at Transylvanian chateaux — Society — Dogs — Amuse-
ments at Klausenburg — Magyar poets — Count Istvan
Szechenyi — Baron Eotvos — 'The Village Notary' — Hun-
garian self-criticism — Literary taste . . .291
A visit at Schloss B National characteristics — Robber
stories — Origin of the " poor lads " — Audacity of the rob-
bers — Anecdote of Deak and the housebreaker— Romantic
story of a robber chief ..... 302
Return to Buda-Pest — All-Souls' Day — The cemetery — Secret
burial of Count Louis Battliyanyi — High rate of mortality
at Buda-Pest . . . . . .315
Skating — Death and funeral of Deak — Deak's policy — Uneasi-
ness about the rise of the Danube — Great excitement about
inundations — The capital in danger— Night scene on the
embankment — Firing the danger-signal — The great calam-
ity averted ....... 321
Results of the Danube inundations — State of things at Baja —
Terrible condition of New Pest — Injuries sustained by the
island garden of St. Marguerite — Charity organisation . 335
Expedition to the Marmaros Mountains— Railways in Hungary
— The train stopping for a rest — The Alfold — Shepherds
of the plain — Wild appearance of the Rusniacks— Slavs
of Northern Hungary — Marmaros Szigeth — Difficulty in
slinging a hammock — The Jews of Karasconfalu — Soda
manufactory at Boeska — Romantic scenery — Salt mines —
Subterranean lake ...... 339
The Tokay district —Visit at Schloss G Wild-boar hunt-
ing — Incidents of the chase .... 355
Tokay vineyards — The vine-grower's difficulties — Geology of
the Hegyalia — The Pope's compliment to the wine of
Tallya — Towns of the Hegyalia — Farming — System of
wages at harvest — The different sorts of Tokay wine . 364
Map of the Banat and Transylvania ivith Mr Crosse's route.
ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Down the Danube from Buda-Pest — Amusements on board the
steamer — Basiash — Drive to Oravicza by Weisskirchen — Ladies
of Oravicza —Gipsy music — Finding an old schoolfellow — The
One glorious morning in June 1875, I, with the
true holiday feeling at heart, for the world was all
before me, stepped on board the Kustchuk steamer
at Buda-Pest, intending to go down the Danube as
far as Basiash.
Your express traveller, whose aim it is to get to
the other end of everywhere in the shortest possible
time, will take the train instead of the boat to Basi-
ash, and there catch up the steamer, saving fully
twelve hours on the way. This time the man in
a hurry is not so far wrong ; the Danube between
Buda-Pest and the defile of Kasan is almost devoid
of what the regular tourist would call respectable
scenery. There are few objects of interest, except
the mighty river itself.
2 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Now the steamer has its advantages over the train,
for surely nowhere in this locomotive world can a
man more thoroughly enjoy "sweetly doing nothing"
than on board one of these river-boats. You are
wafted swiftly onward through pure air and sun-
shine ; you have an armchair under the awning ;
of course an amusing French novel ; besides, truth
to say, there is plenty to amuse you on board. Once
past Vienna, your moorings are cut from the old
familiar West ; the costumes, the faces, the architec-
ture, and even the way of not doing things, have
all a flavour of the East.
What a hotch-potch of races, so to speak, all in
one boat, but ready to do anything rather than pull
together ; even here, between stem and stern of our
Danube steamer, are Magyars, Germans, Servians,
Croats, Roumanians, Jews, and gipsies. They are all
unsatisfied people with aspirations ; no two are agreed
— everybody wants something else down here, and
how Heaven is to grant all the prayers of those who
have the grace to pray, or how otherwise to settle
the Eastern Question, I will not pretend to say.
Meanwhile the world amuses itself — I mean the
microcosm on board the steamer : people, ladies
not excepted, play cards, drink coffee, and smoke,
There is a good opportunity of studying the latest
Parisian fashions, as worn by Roumanian belles ;
DOWN THE DANUBE. 3
they know how to dress, do those handsome girls
When steam navigation was first established on
the Danube, as long ago as 1830, Prince Demidoff
remarked, that " in making the Danube one of the
great commercial highways of the world, steam had
united the East with the West." It was a smart
saying, but it was not a thing accomplished when
the Prince wrote his Travels, nor is it now ; for
though the " Danube Steam Navigation Company "
have been running their boats for nearly half a
century, they are in difficulties, " chiefly/' says Mr
Eevy, 1 "from the neglect of all river improvements
between Vienna and Buda-Pest, and between Basiash
and Turn-Severin." He goes on to say that the
dearest interests of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy
are involved in the rectification of the course of the
Danube, recommending a Eoyal Commission to be
appointed. Those who follow the course of the
river may see for themselves how little has been
done, and how much remains to be done before it
can be safely reckoned one of the great commer-
cial highways of the w^orld.
We had started from Buda-Pest on Monday morn-
ing at seven o'clock, and arrived at Basiash at nine
1 The Danube at Buda-Pest. Keport addressed to Count Andrassy
by J. J. Revy, C.E. 1876.
4 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the following morning. We were fortunate in not
having been detained anywhere by shallow water, so
often the cause of delay by this route.
Up to the present time Basiash is the terminus of
the railway ; it is a depot for coal brought from the
interior, and though not out of its teens, is a place
fast growing into importance.
As my object was to get to Oravicza in the Banat,
I had done with the steamboat, and intended taking
the rail to my destination ; but, in the " general
cussedness " of things, there turned out to be no
train till the evening. I did not at all enjoy the
prospect of knocking about the whole day amongst
coal-sheds and unfinished houses, with the alterna-
tive refuge of the inn, which was swarming with
flies and redolent of many evil smells ; so I thought
I would find some conveyance and drive over, foi
the distance was not great. If there is anything I hate,
it is waiting the livelong day for a railway train.
There chanced to be an intelligent native close b]
who divined my thoughts, for I had certainly no
uttered them ; he came up, touched me on the arm,
and pointed round the corner. Notwithstanding th
intense heat of the day, the Wallack, for such h
was, wore an enormous sheepskin cloak with th<
wool outside, as though ready for an Arctic winter
I followed him a few steps to see what he wanted m<
A COUNTRY CART. 5
to look at; the movement was quite enough, he
regarded it evidently in the light of ready assent, and
in the twinkling of an eye he possessed himself of
my portmanteau and other belongings, motioned me
to follow him, which I did, and then found that my
Heaven-sent friend had a machine for hire.
I call it a machine, because it was not like
anything on wheels I had seen before : later on
I became familiar enough with the carts of the
country ; they are long - bodied, rough construc-
tions, wonderfully adapted to the uneven roads. In
this case there were four horses abreast, which sounds
imposing, as any four-in-hand must always do.
I now asked the Wallack in German if he could
drive me to Oravicza, for I saw he had made up
his mind to drive me somewhere. To my relief I
found he could speak German, at all events a few
words. He replied he could drive the " high and
nobly born Excellency " there in four hours. The
time was one thing, but the charge was quite
another affair. His demand was so outrageous
that I supposed it was an implied compliment to
my exalted rank : certainly it had no adequate
reference to the services offered. The fellow asked
enough to buy the whole concern outright — cart
and four horses ! They were the smallest horses
I almost ever saw, and were further reduced by the
b ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
nearest shave of being absolute skeletons ; the
narrow line between sustaining life and actual
starvation must have been nicely calculated.
We now entered upon the bargaining phase, a
process which threatened to last some time ; all the
stragglers in the place assisted at the conference,
taking a patriotic interest in their own countryman.
The matter was finally adjusted by the Wallack
agreeing to take a sixth part of the original sum.
Seated on a bundle of hay, with my things
around me, I was now quite ready for the start,
but the driver had a great many last words with
the public, which the interest in our proceedings
had gathered about us. Presently with an air of
triumph he took his seat, gave a loud crack or two
with his whip, and off we started at a good
swinging trot, just to show what his team could
We took the road to Weisskirchen, leaving the
Danube in the rear. The country was fairly pretty,
but nothing remarkable ; fine scenery under the
circumstances would have been quite superfluous,
for the dust was two feet deep in the road, and
the heels of four horses scampering along raised
such a cloud of it that we could see next to
We had not proceeded far when the speed
sensibly relaxed ; I fancy the horses went slower
that they might listen to what the driver had to
say, he talked to them the whole time. He was
not communicative to me ; his knowledge of
German seemed limited to the bargaining process,
a lesson often repeated, I suspect. As time wore
on the heat became almost tropical ; as for the
dust, I felt as if I had swallowed a sandbank,
and was joyful at the near prospect of quench-
ing my thirst at Weisskirchen, now visible in the
Hungarian towns look like overgrown villages
that have never made up their minds seriously to
become towns. The houses are mostly of one
story, standing each one alone, with the gable-end,
blank and windowless, towards the road. This is
probably a relic of Orientalism.
Getting up full speed as we approached the town,
we clattered noisily over the crown of the causeway,
and suddenly making a sharp turn, found ourselves
in the courtyard of the inn.
I inquired how long we were to remain here;
" A small half-hour," was the driver s answer. This
was my first experience of a Wallack's idea of time,
if indeed they have any ideas on the subject beyond
the rising and the setting of the sun.
I strolled about the place, but there was not
8 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
much to be done in the time, and I got very tired
of waiting: the "half -hour" was anything but
" small ; " however, one must be somewhere, and in
Hungary waiting comes a good deal into the day's
work. I was rather afraid my Wallack was
indulging too freely in slivovitz — otherwise plum-
brandy — a special weakness of theirs ; but after an
intolerable delay we got off at last.
Soon after leaving the town we came upon an
encampment of gipsies ; their tents looked pictur-
esque enough in the distance, but on nearer
approach the illusion was entirely dispelled. In
appearance they were little better than savages ;
children even of ten years of age, lean, mop-headed
creatures, were to be seen running about absolutely
naked. As Mark Twain said, " they wore nothing
but a smile/' but the smile was a grimace to try
to extract coppers from the traveller. Two miles
farther on we came upon fourteen carts of gipsies,
as wild a crew as one could meet all the world
over. Some of the men struck me as handsome, but
with a single exception the women were terribly
It was fully six o'clock before we reached Ora-
vicza; the drive of twenty-five miles had taken
eight hours instead of four, as the Wallack had
We entered the town with a feeble attempt at a
trot, but the poor brutes of horses were dead beat,
and neither the pressure of public opinion nor the
suggestive cracking of the driver's whip could
arouse them to becoming activity.
Oravicza is very prettily situated on rising
ground, and the long winding street, extending
more than two miles, turns with the valley.
Crawling along against collar the whole way, I
thought the street would never end. There are
very few Magyar inhabitants in this place, which
is pretty equally divided between Germans and
Wallacks ; the lower part of the town belongs to the
latter, and is known as Eoman Oravicza, in dis-
tinction to Deutsch Oravicza. The population is
altogether about seven thousand.
I fancy not many strangers pass this way, for
never was a shy Englishman so stared at as this
dust-begrimmed traveller. I became painfully self-
conscious of the generally disreputable appearance
of my cart and horses, the driver and myself, when
two remarkably pretty girls tripped by, casting
upon me well-bred but amused glances. All the
womenkind of Oravicza must have turned out at
this particular hour, for I had hardly passed
the sisters with the arched eyebrows, when I came
upon another group of young ladies, who were
10 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
laughing and talking together. I think they grew
merrier as I approached, and I am quite sure I
was hotter than 1 had been all day. " Confound
the fellow ! can't he turn into an innyard — any-
where out of the main street?" thought I, giving
my driver a poke. He knew perfectly well where
he was about to take me, and no significant gestures
of mine hastened him forward in the very least.
Presently, without any warning, we did turn into
a side opening, but so suddenly that the whole
vehicle had a wrench, and the two hind wheels
jolted over a high kerbstone. Meanwhile the
group of damsels were still in close confab, and I
could see took note that the stranger had descended
at the Krone. We were all in a heap in the
courtyard, but we had to extricate ourselves as
best we could, for not a soul was to be seen,
though we had made noise enough certainly to
announce our arrival.
I pulled repeatedly at the bell before I could
rouse the haushnecht, and induce him to make an
appearance. At length he deigned to emerge from
the recesses of the dirty interior. Having dis-
charged the Wallack in a satisfied frame of mind
(he had the best of the bargain after all), I was at
leisure to follow mine host to inspect the accom-
modation he had to offer me. A sanitary commis-
GIPSY MUSIC. 11
sioner would have condemned it, but en voyage
comme en voyage. With some difficulty and delay
I procured water enough to fill the pie-dish that
did duty for the washing apparatus. I had an old
relative of extremely Low Church proclivities who
was always repeating — for my edification, I suppose
— that " man is but dust ;" the dear old lady would
have said so in very truth if she had seen me on
After supper I strolled into the summer theatre,
a simple erection, consisting of a stage at the
end of a pretty, shady garden. Seats and tables
were placed under the lime-trees, and here the happy
people of Oravicza enjoy their amusements in the
fresh air, drinking coffee and eating ices. Think
of the luxury of fresh air, ye frequenters of
London theatres !
The evening was already advanced, the tables
were well filled ; groups gathered here and there,
sauntering under the greenery, gay with lanterns ;
and many a blue-eyed maiden was there, with
looks coquettish yet demure, as German maidens
are wont to appear.
A concert was going on, and I for the first time
heard a gipsy band. Music is an instinct with
these Hungarian gipsies. They play by ear, and
with a marvellous precision, not surpassed by musi-
12 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
cians who have been subject to the most careful
training. Their principal instruments are the violin,
the violoncello, and a sort of zither. The airs they
play are most frequently compositions of their own,
and are in character quite peculiar, though favourite
pieces from Wagner and other composers are also
given by them with great effect. I heard on this
occasion one of the gipsy airs which made an in-
delible impression on my mind ; it seemed to me
the thrilling utterance of a people's history. There
was the low wail of sorrow, of troubled passionate
grief, stirring the heart to restlessness, then the
sense of turmoil and defeat ; but upon this
breaks suddenly a wild burst of exultation, of
rapturous joy — a triumph achieved, which hurries
you along with it in resistless sympathy. The
excitable Hungarians can literally become in-
toxicated with this music — and no wonder. You
cannot reason upon it, or explain it, but its strains
compel you to sensations of despair and joy, of
exultation and excitement, as though under the
influence of some potent charm.
I strolled leisurely back to the inn, beneath the
starlit heavens. The outline of the mountains was
clearly marked in the distance, and in the fore-
ground quaint gable-ends mixed themselves up
with the shadows and the trees — a pretty picture,
AN OLD SCHOOLFELLOW. 13
prettier than anything one can see by the light of
" common day."
The following morning I set about making in-
quiries respecting the mines which I knew existed
in the neighbourhood of Oravicza. I found that
an English gentleman owned a gold mine in the
immediate vicinity, and that he was then living in
the town. This induced me to go off at once to
call upon him, and I was immediately received in
a very friendly manner. This accidental meeting
was rather curious, for on comparing notes we
found that we had been schoolfellows together
at Westminster. H being my senior, we
had not known each other well ; but meeting here
in the wilds, we were as old familiar friends.
H kindly insisted on my leaving the inn and
taking up my quarters with him in his bachelor
residence, which was in fact big enough to accommo-
date a whole form of Westminster boys. I was not
at all sorry to avoid a second night at the Krone, and
gladly fell into my friend's hospitable arrangements.
I was in great luck altogether, for that very
evening a dance was to come off at Oravicza, and
my friend invited me to accompany him. Dancing
is one of the sins I compound for ; moreover, I had
a lively recollection of the bright eyes I had
14 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Oravicza is a central place, in a way the chief
town of the Banat. It has a pleasant little society,
composed of the families of the officials, and of the
military stationed there ; they are mostly German
by origin. Amongst the belles of the evening I
soon discovered my merry critics of yesterday. I
was duly presented, and we laughed together over
my "first appearance." It was one of the
pleasantest evenings I ever remember. I hate long
invitations to anything agreeable ; this party, for
instance, - had the charm of unexpectedness. If
unfortunately I should prove not quite good enough
to go to heaven, I think it would be very pleasant
to stop at Oravicza — supposing, of course, that my
friends all stopped there as well.
Here I first danced the czardas ; it is an epoch
in a man's life, but you must see it, feel it, dance it,
and, above all, hear the gipsy music that inspires
it. This is the national dance of the Hungarians,
favoured by prince and peasant alike. The figures
are very varied, and represent the progress of a
courtship where the lady is coy, and now retreats
and now advances ; her partner manifests his
despair, she yields her hand, and then the couple
whirl off together to the most entrancing tones of
wild music, such as St. Anthony himself could not
Consequences of trying to buy a horse — An expedition into Servia
— Fine scenery — The peasants of New Moldova — Szechenyi
road — Geology of the defile of Kasan — Crossing the Danube —
Milanovacz — Drive to Maidenpek — Fearful storm in the
mountains — Miserable quarters for the night — Extent of this
storm— The disastrous effects of the same storm at Buda-Pest
— Great loss of life.
My friend H is the very impersonation of
sound practical sense. The next morning he coolly
broke in upon my raptures over the beauty of
the Oravicza ladies by saying, "You want to
buy a horse, don't you 1 "
Of course I did, but my thoughts were elsewhere
at the moment, and with some reluctance I took
my hat and followed my friend to interview a
Wallack who had heard that I was a likely pur-
chaser, and brought an animal to show me. It
would not do at all, and we dismissed him.
A little later we went out into the town, and I
thought there was a horse-fair ; I should think we
met a dozen people at least who came up to accost
me on the subject of buying a horse. And such a
16 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
collection of animals ! — wild colts from the Pustza
that had never been ridden at all, and other ancient
specimens from I know not where, which could never
be ridden again — old, worn-out roadsters. There
were two or three good horses, but they were only
fit for harness. I was so bothered every time I put
my nose out of doors by applications from persons
anxious to part with their property in horse-flesh,
that I wished I had kept my intentions locked in
my own breast. I was pestered for days about this
business. There was an old Jew who came regu-
larly to the house three times a-day to tell me of
some other paragon that he had found. When he
saw that it was really of no use, he then com-
plained loudly that I had wasted his precious time,
that he had given up every other occupation for the
sake of finding me a horse. I dismissed this Jew,
telling him pretty sharply to go about his own
business for once, adding that nothing should induce
me to buy a horse in Oravicza.
One day H informed me that he was going
over to Servia on a matter of business, and if I
liked to accompany him, I should see something of
the country, and perhaps I might find there a horse
to suit me. The Servian horses are said to be a
useful breed, strong though small, and very endur-
ing for a long march.
COPPER MINES. 17
1 was very ready for the expedition, so we hired
a leiterwagen, which is in fact a long cart with
sides like a ladder, peculiarly suitable for rough
work. I was much surprised to find the Hun-
garians far less often in the saddle than I expected ;
it is true, nobody walks, not even the poorest
peasant, but they drive, as a rule.
We started one fine July morning in our machine
for Moldova on the Danube. The first place we
came to was Szaszka, a mining village. Close by are
copper mines and smelting- works belonging to the
States Railway Company. I was told that they do
not pay as well as formerly, owing to the fact that
the ore now being worked is poorer than before ; it
yields only two per cent, of copper, a very low
average. Nothing could well exceed the dirt of
Szaszka ; we merely stopped long enough to feed the
horses, and were glad to get off again.
On leaving this place the road immediately begins
to ascend the mountain, and may be described
as a sort of pass over a spur of the Carpathians.
It was a very beautiful drive, favoured as we
were, too, with fine weather. The road on the
northern side is even well made, ascending in
regular zigzags. After gaining the summit, we
left the post-road that we had hitherto traversed,
and took our way to the right, descending through
18 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
a forest. The varied foliage was very lovely, and
the shade afforded us most grateful. It was an
original notion driving through such a place, for,
according to my ideas, there was no road at all ; but
H — — , more accustomed to the country, declared
it was not so bad, at least he averred that there
were other roads much worse. The jolting we got
over the ruts and stones exceeded anything in my
previous experience. How the cart kept itself
together was a marvel to me, but it accommo-
dated itself by a kind of snakelike movement, not
characteristic of wheeled vehicles in general. Ex-
cept for the honour and glory of driving, I would
as lief have walked, and I think have done the
journey nearly as soon ; but my friend observed,
" It was no good giving into bad roads down in this
part of the world."
At one of the worst turnings we met several
bullock - carts filled with iron pyrites from the
copper - smelting. The custom of the drivers of
these carts is to stop at the bottom of a steep bit
of hill, and then put five or six pairs of oxen to
draw up one cart. The process is a slow one, but
is better for the oxen. We had great difficulty in
passing in safety, for unluckily at the spot we
met them the trees were so thick that they literally
walled up the road, and on the other side there;
NEW MOLDOVA. 19
chanced to be a very uninviting precipice, and of
course we had the place of honour.
Soon after this little excitement was over we came
upon a fine view of the Danube, with a long stretch
of Servian forests beyond. On we jolted, till at
length New Moldova was reached : this place has
smelting - furnaces, and in the neighbourhood are
extensive copper mines. The district is known as
the Banat of Temesvar, an extensive area of the
most fertile land in Europe ; rich black soil,
capable of growing any number of crops in suc-
cession without dressing. This part of Hungary
supplies the finest white flour, so much esteemed
by the Vienna bakers, and now sought after by the
pastrycooks in England.
There was a fair going on at New Moldova,
which afforded me an opportunity of seeing the
peasants in their gala dresses. The place is re-
nowned for its pretty Wallack girls, and I certainly
can bear witness that I saw not a few handsome
faces. But what struck me most was the graceful
movements of these damsels : their manner of walk-
ing was the very poetry of motion. 1 daresay it was
the more striking to me because I had recently
come from England, where fashion condemns the
wearers of high-heeled shoes to a rickety waddle !
Even here, in these wilds, fashion maintains a
20 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
despotic rule. I understand black hair is the thing
at present, so every Wallack maiden dyes her hair
to the regulation colour, though Nature, who never
makes a mistake, may have matched her com-
plexion with auburn locks.
The costume is very pretty and peculiar; it
consists of a loose chemise, a short skirt of home-
spun, with a double apron front and back, formed
of a very deep thick fringe of various colours.
This peculiar garment is called an ohreska ; I
think it has no counterpart in female fashions
elsewhere. When the under-garment is white and
fresh the effect is very good ; but in the case of the
very poor, if there are but scanty rags beneath,
then, to speak mildly, the fringe is an inefficient
covering. But to-day every damsel is in her best ;
and how jauntily she wears the coloured scarf
twisted round her head, which falls in graceful
folds ! The Walla cks generally have their bare
feet covered, not with boots, but with thongs of
leather, something in the form of a sandal. The
Servian women dress quite differently, wear tight-
fitting garments, richly embroidered when their
means permit. The men also figure largely in
In the evening the peasants had a dance on the
open space in front of the czarda, or village inn.
THE GOVERNMENT KOAD. 21
Of course we were there to look on. I should
observe that we had arranged to stay the night at
Moldova, for the afternoon had been taken up in
visiting a large manufactory for sulphuric acid in
the neighbourhood. The dance which wound up
the day's amusements can be easily described.
" Many a youth and many a maid " form a wide
circle with arms interlaced, they move round and
round in a marzurka step to the sound of music.
It appeared to me rather slow and monotonous. I
do not know whether the figure breaks up, leaving
each couple more to their own devices ; but we
left them still revolving in a circle.
The following morning we were off on our travels
again. A short drive took us to Old Moldova, a
village within the Military Frontier, regularly con-
structed, with guardhouse and other Government
buildings, feeing the Danube. At this point begins
the splendid road by the side of the river, made
by the Hungarian Government in 1840. It
reaches as far as Orsova, taking the left bank
of the Danube. It would have been easier to
have followed Trajan's lead, and have made
the road on the right bank ; but there were
political reasons for deciding otherwise. The
Hungarian Government, ' as a matter of course,
would only construct this great work within
22 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
their own territory : the other side of the river
is Servian. The engineering difficulties in making
this road were very great, but they have been
everywhere overcome, and the result is a splendid
piece of work.
Arriving at the Danube, we took a steamboat
that would land us in Milanovacz in Servia. The
scenery here is magnificent ; we were now in the
defile of Kasan. The waters of the mighty river
are contracted within a narrow gorge, which in fact
cleaves asunder the Carpathian range for a space of
more than fifty miles. The limestone rock forms a
precipitous wall on either side, rising in some places
to an altitude of more than two thousand feet sheer
from the waters edge. The scenery of this wonder-
ful pass is very varied ; the bare rock with its
vertical precipice gives place to a disturbed broken
mass of cliff and scaur, flung about in every sort of
fantastic form, or towering aloft like the ruined
ramparts of some Titan's castle. Over all this a
luxuriant vegetation has thrown a veil of exceeding
The fact of the Danube forcing its way through
the Carpathian chain in this remarkable manner is
a very interesting problem to the geologists, and
deserves more careful investigation at their hands
than perhaps it has yet received. They seem pretty
THE GOUGE OF KASAN. 23
well agreed in saying that there must have been a
time when the waters were bayed back, and when
the vast Hungarian plain was an inland sea or great
Professor Hull, in a recent paper on the subject, 1
states the fact of the plains of Hungary being " over-
spread by sands, gravels, and a kind of mud called
loess, or by alluvial deposits underlaid by fresh-water
limestones, which may be considered as having been
formed beneath an inland lake, during different
periods of repletion or partial exhaustion, dating
downwards from the Miocene period."
The Professor goes on to say that " at intervals
along the skirts of the Carpathians, and in more
central detached situations, volcanoes seem to have
been in active operation, vomiting forth masses of
trachytic and basaltic lava, which were sometimes
mingled with the deposits forming under the waters
of the lakes. The connection of these great sheets
of water with these active volcanic eruptions in
Hungary has been pointed out by the late Dr.
Daubeny. The gorge of Kasan, and the ridge
about 700 feet above the present surface of the
stream, appear to have once barred the passage
of the river. At this time the waters must have
1 Hungary and the Lower Danube, by Professor Hull, F.R.S., in
Dublin University Magazine, March 1874.
24 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
been pent up several hundred feet above the present
surface, and thus have been thrown back on the
plains of Hungary. It was only necessary that the
barrier should be cut through in order to lay dry these
plains by draining the lakes. This was probably
effected by the ordinary process of river excavation,
and partly by the formation of underground channels
scooped out amongst the limestone rocks of the gorge.
These two modes of excavation acting together may
have hastened the lowering of the channel and the
drainage of the plains above considerably; neverthe-
less the time required for such a work must have
been extended, and it would appear that while the
great inland lakes were being drained, the volcanic
fires were languishing, and ultimately became extinct.
Hungary thus presents us with phenomena analogous
to those which are to be found in the volcanic
district of Central France." It is a significant fact
that even at the present day the waters of the
Platten See and other lakes and swamps are
diminishing, showing that the draining process is
still going on.
The extent of the great lake of prehistoric times
is forcibly brought before us by the fact that the
Alfold, or great plain of Hungary, comprises an area
of 37,400 square miles! Here is found the Tief-
land, or deep land, so wonderfully fertile that the
A COMING STOKM. 25
cultivator need only scratch the soil to prepare it
for his crop.
As it only took us four hours by steamer to go
from Alt Moldova to Milanovacz, we calculated that
we might reach Maidenpek, our destination in
Servia, the same day by borrowing a few hours
from the night, as an Irishman would say. How-
ever, it turned out that there was so much bar-
gaining and dawdling about at Milanovacz before
we could settle on a conveyance that we did not
get away till six o'clock — too late a great deal,
considering the rough drive we had before us.
Immediately after starting we began to wind our
way up the mountain. The views were splendid.
The Danube at this part again spreads out, having
the appearance of a lake something like the Ehine
near Bingen. We looked right over into Tran-
sylvania and Eoumania from the commanding
position afforded by the terraced road up which we
We had hardly gained the highest point when we
remarked that the sky was becoming rapidly overcast
by clouds from the west. Our Servian driver swore
it would not rain ; he knew the signs of the weather,
he said, but as he applied the whip and galloped his
horses at every available opportunity, it was clear
he had an inner consciousness of coming trouble.
26 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The road now led through a forest. Here and there
a gap in the thick foliage gave us a glimpse of the
distant landscape, and of the curious atmospheric
effects produced by the coming storm. The clouds
rolled up behind us in dense masses, throwing the
near mountains into deep\ "shadow, while the plain
far beneath was flooded with bright sunshine.
The effect, however, was transitory, for the dark
shadow soon engulfed the distant plain, blurring
the fair scene even while we looked upon it
The change was something marvellous, so sudden
and so complete. Up to this time the air had been
still, and very hot; but suddenly a fierce wind came
upon us with a hoarse roar — almost like the waves
of the sea — up the valley and over the hill-top it
came, right down upon us, tearing at the forest-
trees. The branches, in all the full foliage of leafy
June, swayed to and fro as the wind went roaring and
shrieking down the hillside ; the next moment the
earth shook with the clap of a terrific burst of thunder.
The horses stood still and shuddered in their
harness, and it was with difficulty they were made
to go on. It was evident the storm was right
over us, for now succeeded flash upon flash of forked
lightning, with thunder-claps that were instantaneous
At the same time the windows of heaven were
HURRICANE IN THE MOUNTAINS. 27
opened upon us, or rather the sluices of heaven it
seemed to me ; for the rain descended in sheets,
not streams, of water. Without any adventitious
difficulties, the road was as objectionable as a road
could be ; deep ruts alternated with now a bare bit
of rock strewn with treacherous loose stones, and
now a sharp curve with an ugly slant towards the
About half an hour after the storm first broke
upon us it had become night, indeed it was so dark
that we could hardly see a pace in advance. The
repeated flashes of lightning helped us to make out
our position from time to time, and we trusted to
the horses mainly to get us along in the safe middle
course. At moments when the heavens were lit up,
I could see the swaying branches of the fir-trees
high above us battling with the wind, for we were
still in the forest. The sound of many waters
around on every side forcibly impressed us with the
notion that we must be washed away — a result not
by any means improbable, for the road we traversed
was little better than a watercourse.
I have experienced storms in Norway, and in the
Swiss and Austrian Alps, but I never remember
anything to equal this outburst of the elements.
To stop still or to go forward was almost equally
difficult, but we struggled on somehow at the rate, I
28 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
should think, of a mile and a half in the hour. The
horses were thoroughly demoralised, as one says of
defeated troops, and stumbled recklessly at every
obstacle. The driver was a stupid fellow, without
an ounce of pluck in his composition, and declared
more than once that he would not go on, preferring
to stop under such shelter as the trees afforded.
We were of another mind, and insisted on his
pushing on. One of us walked at the horses' heads,
and thus we splashed and blundered on for three
mortal hours, wishing all the time that we
had slept at Milanovacz. The route became so
much worse that I declared we must have
missed the track. We were apparently in a
deep gully, traversed by a mountain torrent hardly
a foot below the level of our road ; but the
Servian said he knew we were " all right/' and
that we should come directly to a house where
we could get shelter.
He had hardly spoken when H descried
some lights not very far ahead, and in less than
ten minutes we came alongside a good-sized hut,j
which turned out to be the welcome wine-shop the
driver had promised us. Here was a roof anyhow,
so we entered, hoping for supper and beds in the
wayside inn. All our host could produce was a
very good bottle of Servian "black" wine and some
SERVIAN QUARTERS. 29
coarse bread of the country, so stale that we could
hardly break it. This wine, which is almost as
black as ink, comes from Negotin, lower down the
Danube, and is rather a celebrated vintage I was
It was only in my untravelled mind that the idea
of " beds " existed at all. H- knew better than
to expect anything of the kind. All we could do
was to examine the place we were in with reference
to passing the night. The floor of the room con-
sisted of hard stamped clay, which from the drip-
pings of our garments had become damp and
slightly adhesive to the tread. The furniture con-
sisted of a few rough stools and three tables. There
was no question of any other apartment, there being
only a dark hole in the rear sacred to the family,
into which every sense we possessed forbade us to
intrude. In peering about with the candles we
found that the floor was perfectly alive with insects
— such strange forms, awful in their strangeness
■ — interesting, I daresay, to the entomologist, but
simply disgusting to one not given to collecting
If I were dying I could not have laid myself down
on that floor, so we dragged the three tables
together. They were provokingly uneven, but
with the aid of a sheepskin bunda, and our carpet-
ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
bags for pillows, we contrived something upon
which to rest our tired limbs. I should observe
we had partially dried ourselves by a miserable fire
fed with wet wood ; in fact, everything was wet
— our plaids were soaked, and were useless as
We had agreed to keep one candle burning, with
the further precaution that we should sleep and
tie through the night ; for it was a cut-throat-
looking place, and the countenance of the ordinary
Servian is not reassuring. It fell to my lot to have
the first watch, and I lay awake staring at the roof,
no great height above us. Its dirt-stained rafters
were lit up by the candle, and I soon became
aware that the mainbody of the insects was per-
forming a strategic movement highly creditable to
the attacking party — they dropped down upon us
from the beams ! I will not pursue the subject
farther, but as long as the candle burned I did not
sleep a wink. I suppose I must have dozed off
towards morning, for H roused me from a
state of semi-unconsciousness, and " up we got and
shook our lugs."
The first thing I saw on pushing open the door
was the steaming carcass of a sheep hung just
outside, with a pool of blood on the very thresh-
old ! In many places in Eastern Europe they have
EFFECTS OF THE STOKM. 31
the disgusting habit of slaughtering the animals in
the middle of the street.
As soon as we had swallowed a cup of hot coffee,
which is always good in this part of the world,
we lost no time in clearing out of the wretched
hovel where w r e had passed the night. On every
side there were traces of last night's tempest —
trees uprooted and lying across the road, walls
blown down, and watercourses overflowing. It
came to my knowledge later that we got part of
the same storm that had fallen with such devas-
tating fury on Buda-Pest just twenty-four hours
1 Extract of a private letter, dated Buda-Pest, June 28th, from Mr
Landor Crosse, which appeared in the 'Daily News,' July 6, 1875 :
" We have had one of the most dreadful storms that has happened here
in the memory of man. I must tell you that on Saturday evening I
was taking my coffee and cigar in the beautiful gardens of the Isle St
Marguerite, opposite Buda-Pest, when a little after six o'clock a fearful
hurricane arose very suddenly, sweeping over us with terrific force.
Branches of trees were carried along like feathers. After this came a
dreadful thunderstorm, accompanied by rain and hail, the hail break-
ing windows right and left, even those that were made of plate-glass.
The hailstones were on an average the size of walnuts, and some very
much larger. Two trees were struck by lightning within thirty yards
of me. I had a narrow escape, for these large trees were shattered,
and the fragments dispersed by the hurricane ; it was an awful
moment, and I shall never forget it as long as I live.
u Yesterday I w r ent over to the Buda side, where twenty houses
have been entirely washed away. Nearly the whole of the town is
flooded, and every street converted into a river five or six feet in
depth. It is estimated that more than two hundred people have
been drowned. ... On Sunday morning I saw the Danube bear-
32 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
It is a fact worth noting that this storm affected
a large area of Europe, travelling north-west to
south-east. A friend writing from the neighbour-
hood of Dresden made mention of a severe storm
on the 24th of June ; it broke upon Buda on the
26th, reaching us down in Servia on the 27th.
ing swiftly away the terrible wreckage of the storm. There were
large articles of furniture, the bodies of men, women, and children,
together with horses and cows, all floating on the whirling waters.
... It rained a waterspout for nearly five hours, and in conse-
quence the small valleys leading down from the mountain were in
some places thirty feet deep, for a time, in rushing water. . . . The
tramways in some places are destroyed ; the mountain railway
wrecked ; the vineyards on the hillside simply ruined. . . . You
will scarcely credit me when I tell you that a house situated at the
bottom of the valley and near the railway station was literally
battered in by a drift of hailstones. The doors and windows were
burst in before the inmates could escape, and they were actually
buried alive in ice. When I saw the house twenty-two hours after-
wards it was still four feet deep in hailstones, though they had been
clearing them away with spades. Just as I got there they recovered
the body of a poor woman who had perished. From this spot, and
for about a mile up the valley, no less than fifty-seven bodies were
Miiiclenpek — Well-to-do condition of Servians — Lady Mary Wortley
Montague's journey through Servia — Troubles in Bulgaria —
Communists at Negotin — Copper mines — Forest ride — Robbers
on the road — Kucainia — Belo-breska — Across the Danube —
Detention at customhouse — Weisskirchen — Sleeping Wallacks.
We reached Maiclenpek without further mishap,
and here I began to make inquiries again about a
horse. I was informed that in some of the villages
farther up I should be sure to find the sort of horse
I wanted, and not sorry for an excuse for exploring
the country, I agreed to go, at the same time get-
ting my friend to join me.
We hired some horses for the expedition, and set
off, a party of four : three Englishmen (for we had
picked up a friend at Maidenpek) and a Serb
attendant, who was to act as our guide. He rode
a small plucky horse, being armed with a long
Turkish gun slung over his shoulder, while his belt
was stuck full of strange-looking weapons, worthy
of an old-curiosity shop. We were mounted on
serviceable little nags, and had also our revolvers.
The ride was truly enjoyable. We soon left the
34 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
road, and took our way along a forest path in
Indian file, our picturesque guide leading the way.
The path came to an end before long, and we then
followed the course of a little stream ; but as it
wound about in a most tortuous manner we were
obliged to be continually crossing and recrossing.
Sometimes we rode through a jungle of reeds, at
least eight feet high ; then we had to scramble up
a sandy bank. The horses were like cats, and did
their scrambling well ; and at rare intervals we
found ourselves on a fair stretch of open lawn which
fringes the dense forest. There were bits here and
there which reminded one of Devonshire, where the
luxuriant ferns dipped their waving plumes into the
cool waters of the rocky stream. In the forest, too,
there were exquisite fairy-spots, where, as Spenser
says, is found " beauty enregistered in every nook."
After a time the way grew more wild in the
character of the scenery, and at length the route we
took was so rough that we had to dismount and
lead our horses up the side of a steep hill. It was
tiresome work, for the heat was intense ; but gain-
ing the top, we were rewarded by a grand view of
the Balkan Mountains rising directly south. We
ought to have made out Widdin and a stretch of
the Danube at Palanka ; but the middle of the day
is the worst time for the details of a distant view.
SERVIAN PEASANTS. 35
Shortly after this we arrived at a small uncivilised-
looking village. The men were powerfully built in
point of figure, and the women rather handsome.
Both sexes wear picturesque garments. This
village, like many others of the same kind, we
found encircled by plum-orchards. Thousands of
barrels of dried plums are sent from Servia every
year, not only to Western Europe, but to America.
Besides the consumption of the fruit in its inno-
cent form of prunes, it is made into the spirit
called slivovitz, the curse of Hungary and
We made a halt at this village, and sent out a man
to look up some horses. He brought in several, but
none of them were strong enough for my purpose. It
was then proposed that we should ride on to the next
village. Here we got dinner but no horses. The
meal was very simple but not unpalatable, finishing
up with excellent Turkish coffee.
I am writing now of the status quo ante helium,
and I must say I was struck with the well-to-do
aspect of the peasants in Servia. By peasants I
mean the class answering to the German bauer.
It is true they lack many things that Western
civilisation regards as necessaries ; but have they
not had the Turks for their masters far into this
century 1 Turning over Lady Mary Wortley
36 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Montague's Letters, 1 there occurs the following
paragraph in her account of a journey through
Servia in 1717: —
" We crossed the deserts of Servia, almost quite
overgrown with wood, through a country naturally
fertile. The inhabitants are industrious ; but the
oppression of the peasants is so great, they are
forced to abandon their houses, and neglect their
tillage, all they have being a prey to janissaries
whenever they please to seize upon it. We had a
guard of five hundred of them, and I was almost in
fears every day to see their insolencies in the poor
villages through which we passed. ... I was
assured that the quantity of wine last vintage was
so prodigious that they were forced to dig holes in
the earth to put it in. The happiness of this plenty
is scarcely perceived by the oppressed people. I
saw here [Nissa] a new occasion for my compassion.
The wretches that had provided twenty waggons
for our baggage from Belgrade hither for a certain
hire being all sent back without payment, some of
their horses lamed, and others killed, without any
satisfaction made for them. The poor fellows came
round the house weeping and tearing their hair and
beards in a most pitiable manner, without getting
anything but drubs from the insolent soldiers. I
1 Letters and Works, edited by Lord Wharncliffe, 1837, p. 351, 359.
would have paid them the money out of my own
pocket with all my heart, but it would only have
been giving so much to the aga, who would have
taken it from them without any remorse. . . .
The villagers are so poor that only force
would extort from them necessary provisions.
Indeed the janissaries had no mercy on their
poverty, killing all the poultry and sheep they
could find, without asking to whom they belonged,
while the wretched owners durst not put in their
claim for fear of being beaten. When the pashas
travel it is yet worse. These oppressors are not
content with eating all that is to be eaten belonging
to the peasants; after they have crammed themselves
and their numerous retinue, they have the impudence
to exact what they call teeth-money, a contribution
for the use of their teeth, worn with doing them the
honour of devouring their meat."
This is a lively picture of Turkish rule a century
and a half ago ; it helps us to understand the say-
ing, " Where the Turk treads, no grass grows."
The insurrection in Bulgaria had just broken out
when I was in Servia : I cannot say I heard it much
talked of; we, none of us, knew then the signifi-
cance of the movement. But great uneasiness was
felt in reference to the wide spread of certain
communistic doctrines. A disturbance was stated
38 KOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
to have taken place a few days before at Negotin.
The foreign owners of property expressed them-
selves very seriously alarmed about the communistic
propagandists who were going round the country.
No one seemed certain as to the course events would
However — to resume my own simple narrative
— after dining in the little village aforesaid, we
set our faces again towards Maidenpek, returning
by another route, which afforded us some very
romantic scenery. I finished the difficulty about
the horse by purchasing the one I had ridden
that day. He was smaller than I liked, but
he had proved himself strong and sure footed.
I cannot say he was a beauty, but what can
one expect for seventeen ducats — about eight
pounds English ?
The second day of our stay at Maidenpek was
principally devoted to inspecting some copper mines
belonging to an English company. They appeared
to be doing pretty well. We next arranged to ride
over to Kucainia, a place some twenty-five miles
off. It was settled that we were to start at seven
o'clock in the morning, but a dense white fog
obliterated the outer world — we might have been
on the verge of Nowhere. It was more than two
hours before the fog lifted sufficiently to enable us
AN ALARM. 39
to proceed. We went on our way some three
miles when a drenching shower came on, and
we took shelter in the cavernous interior of an
enormous, half - ruined oak - tree. Natural decay
and the pickaxes of the woodman seeking fuel
for his camp-fire had hollowed out a comfortable
retreat from the storm. Surrounding the tree was
a bed of wild strawberries, which helped to beguile
the time. When at length the clouds cleared away,
we resumed our saddles with dry jackets. But, as
it turned out, the half-hour we spent under the tree
lost us the chance of some fun.
I must remark that our road lay the whole way
through a majestic forest. We were actually on
the highroad to Belgrade, yet in many places it
was nothing more than a grass-drive with trees on
either side. Looking some way ahead when we
found ourselves on a track of this kind, we observed
in the distance two men on horseback standing
their horses in the middle of the road, apparently
waiting for some one to pass. One of the fellows,
armed with the usual long Turkish gun, seeing our
approach, came forward as if to meet us. We
instinctively looked to our revolvers, but as he
came up we saw that the stranger on the black
horse (he must have been once a splendid roadster)
had no sinister intentions upon us. It turned out
40 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
that he was the pope from a neighbouring village.
He was in a great state of excitement, but shook
hands with us all round before uttering a word.
He then told us that the diligence from Belgrade
had been stopped only half an hour ago by five
brigands at the bottom of the very hill we had just
passed. The booty was by no means insignificant.
The robbers had made off with 7000 florins in gold;
but what seemed rather significant was the state-
ment that though the driver and the conductor of
the diligence were both well armed, they had
offered but little or no resistance. They declared
they were overpowered by numbers. If there had
been a shot fired we certainly must have heard it.
Later we ascertained that the money belonged to
the copper-mining company at Maidenpek ; the loss
was not theirs, however, as the Government would
have to reimburse it. It was just like our ill-luck
to wait out of the shower ; but for that delay we
should have come in for the affray. I have my
doubts as to whether our assistance would have
been particularly welcome to the driver of the
diligence. Kobbery on the highroad is a capital
offence in Servia. 1
Arriving at the next village, we found the whole
place in a hubbub and commotion. The men were
1 The robbers were subsequently taken and executed.
THE DILIGENCE ROBBED. 41
arming and collecting horses. We went straight to
the post-office to hear the rights of the story ; the
facts were mainly as I have related them. The
excitement appeared to increase as the crowd
flocked in from the fields. Horses were being
saddled, powder served out, and arrangements
made for a systematic battue of the robbers. After
amusing ourselves by watching the warlike prepara-
tions, we rode on to Kucainia.
We were hospitably received by a fellow-country-
man who is working the mines there. We did justice
to his capital dinner, and told our robber story, which
our host capped with the rumours of a communistic
rising down south.
After a short stay at Kucainia, we made arrange-
ments for returning over the Danube ; but this time
we proposed to strike the river at Belo-breska,
higher up than Milanovacz. We had dropped our
other friend, so H and I hired a light cart for
the thirty miles to Belo-breska, my new horse
meanwhile being tied on behind, and so we jogged
along. The road was good, but, like the good people
in Thackeray's novels, totally uninteresting. We
drove continually through fields of maize — I say
through the fields, for there was no hedge or fence
anywhere. The soil appeared to be splendidly fertile
and well cultivated.
42 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Arrived at Belo-breska, our object was to get
across the Danube, and luckily we found a large
flat-bottomed boat used for cattle. The owner
demanded a ducat (about nine shillings) for taking
us across. I thought it a monstrous charge, but the
fellow had us in his power. I do not think the
Servians are much liked by those who have to do
business with them. From all I heard, Canning's
lines about the sharp practice of some nearer
neighbours would apply very well to the Servians : —
" In matters of commerce the fault of the Dutch
Is giving too little, and asking too much."
No sooner had we landed on the Hungarian side
of the river than up came a customhouse official,
who informed me that I must pay duty for my
horse. Of course, as a law-respecting Briton, I was
ready enough to comply ; but the fellow could not
tell me what the charge was, saying his chief was
absent, and might not be back for some hours.
This was exasperating to the last degree ; the
more so that it seemed so stupid that the man left
in charge could not consult a tariff of taxes, or elicit
from the villagers some information. He was
stolidly obstinate, and refused to let my horse go
at any price, though I offered him what H and
I both thought a reasonable number of florins for
the horse-duty. In less than ten minutes I had
OFFICIAL OBSTRUCTION. 43
worked myself into a rage — a foolish thing to do
with the thermometer at 96° in the shade; but
H was provokingly calm, which irritated me
still more. There is an old French verse which,
rendered into English, says —
" Some of your griefs you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived;
But what torments of pain you endured
From evils that never arrived ! M
Now, a little patience would have saved me a use-
less ebullition of temper. While I was still at
white-heat up came the head official ; removing the
cigar from his lips with Oriental dignity and
deliberation, he calmly answered my question, and
having paid the money we went our way.
Our design was now to get to Weisskirchen, and
sleep there, that place being the only decent quarters
within reach. Our road was over the mountains — a
lonely pass of ill repute. Several persons had been
stopped and robbed in these parts quite recently.
The Government had formerly a small guardhouse
at the top of the pass ; but it has been deserted since
1867, when the district ceased to be maintained as
the Military Frontier. Since that time crime has
been very much on the increase all along the border-
country. The lawlessness that is rampant at the
extremities of the kingdom shows a weakness in
the Central Government which is very reprehensible.
44 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
But for this laxity on the borders, the recent
Szeckler conspiracy for making a raid on the
Kussian railway could never have been projected.
We arrived all right at Weisskirchen, which was
good-luck considering the chances of an upset in the
darkness, for night had overtaken us long before
our drive was half over. Thoroughly tired, we
were glad enough to draw up in the innyard,
the same I had visited some weeks before ; but
great was our disgust at being told that there
was not a bed to be had — every room was taken.
We drove on to inn No. 2, where they had beds
but no supper. We were nearly starving, for
we had had nothing to eat since the morning,
so back we had to go to No. 1 to procure supper.
When this important meal was finished, we had to
make the return journey once more. The streets
were perfectly dark, and it was an affair of no small
difficulty to find our way. It happened to me that
I stepped into something soft and bumpy. I could
not conceive what it was. I made a long step
forward, thinking to clear the obstacle, but I only
stumbled into another soft and bumpy thing. Was
it a flock of sheep lying packed together ? The skins
of the sheep were there, it is true, but as covering
for the forms of prostrate Wallacks. A lot of these
fellows, wrapped in their cloaks, were sleeping huddled
SLEEPING IN THE STREETS. 45
together at the side of the street. I found after-
wards that this is a common practice with these
people. The wonderful bunda is a cloak by day
and a house by night.
Variety of races in Hungary — Wallacks or Roumains — Statistics —
Savage outbreak of the Wallacks in former years — Panslavic
ideas — Roumanians and their origin — Priests of the Greek
Church — Destruction of forests — Spirit of Communism — In-
The mixture of races in Hungary is a puzzle to
any outsider. There is the original substratum
of Slavs, overlaid by Szeklers, Magyars, German
immigrants, Wallacks, Eusniacks, Jews, and gipsies.
An old German writer has quaintly described the
characteristics of these various peoples in the follow-
ing manner : —
" To the great national kitchen the Magyar
contributes bread, meat, and wine ; the Eusniack
and Wallack, salt from the salt pits of Marmaros ;
the Slavonian, bacon, for Slavonia furnishes the
greatest number of fattened pigs ; the German gives
potatoes and vegetables ; the Italian, rice ; the
Slovack, milk, cheese, and butter, besides table-
linen, kitchen utensils, and crockery ware ; the Jew
supplies the Hungarian with money ; and the gipsy
furnishes the entertainment with music."
HUNGARIAN NATIONALITIES. 47
Coming to hard facts, the latest statistics of M.
Keleti give 15,417,327 as the total population of
Hungary. Of these 2,470,000 are Wallacks, who
since the nationality fever has set in desire to be
called Roumains ; and if you say Roman at once, they
will be still better pleased. They were in old time
the overflow of Wallachia, now forming part of the
Roumanian Principality. The first historical irrup-
tion of the Wallacks was about the end of the
fourteenth century, when they became a terrible
pest to the German settlers in Transylvania, dreaded
by them as much as Turk or Tartar. They burned
and pillaged the lands and villages of the peaceful
dwellers in the Saxon settlement ; but at length they
had become so numerous that the law took cognisance
of their existence and reduced them to a state of serf-
dom, from which they were not relieved till 1848.
A subject race has always its wrongs, and there
is no doubt the haughty Magyar nobles treated the
Wallacks with great harshness and indignity. It
was the old story — good masters were kind to their
serfs, but those less fortunate had a bad time of it,
what with forced labour and other burdens. "A
lord is a lord even in hell" is the saying of the
Mr Paget 1 tells the story of an old countess he
1 Hungary and Transylvania, 1839.
ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
met in Transylvania, who used to lament that
" times were sadly changed, peasants were no
longer so respectful as they used to be ; she could
remember walking to church on the backs of the
peasants, who knelt down in the mud to allow her
to pass over them without soiling her shoes. She
could also remember, though less partial to the
recollection, a rising of the peasantry, when nothing
but the kindness with which her mother had gene-
rally treated them saved her from the cruel death
which many of her neighbours met with."
The rising here mentioned took place in 1784,
when two Wallacks named Hora and Kloska were
the leaders of a terrible onslaught upon the Magyar
nobles. The Vienna Government was accused on
this occasion of being very tardy in sending troops
to quell the insurrection. It was the time when
the unpopular reforms of Joseph II. were so ill
received by the Magyars, and no good feeling sub-
sisted between Hungary and the Central Govern-
But the most frightful outbreak of the Wallacks
was, as we all know, within living memory. You
can hear from the lips of witnesses descriptions of
horrors committed not thirty years ago in Transyl-
vania. Entire villages were destroyed, whole
families slaughtered, down to the new-born infant.
The arms of the "Wallacks were supplied by
Austria, for whom they were acting as a sort of
militia at the time of Hungary's war of indepen-
dence. The Vienna Government has been very
fond of playing off the Wallacks and the Slavs
against the Magyars : they have kept the pot always
simmering ; if some fine day it boils over, they will
have the fat in the fire.
Of course in Southern Hungary one hears enough
about the Panslavic movement, and Panslavic
ideas. "The idea of Panslavism had a purely
literary origin," observes Sir Gardiner Wilkinson
in his book on Dalmatia. " It was started by
Kolla, a Protestant clergyman of the Slavonic
congregation at Pesth, who wished to establish a
national literature by circulating all works written
in the various Slavonic dialects The
idea of an intellectual union of all these nations
naturally led to that of a political one ; and the
Slavonians seeing that their numbers amounted to
about one-third of the whole population of Europe,
and occupied more than half its territory, began to
be sensible that they might claim for themselves a
position to which they had not hitherto aspired."
But the Wallacks, or, as we will now call them,
Eoumains, are not Slavs at all; they are utterly
distinct in race, though they are co-religionists with
50 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the Southern Slavs. " The Eoumanians," says
Mr Freeman, 1 " speak neither Greek nor Turkish,
neither Slave nor Skipetar, but a dialect of Latin,
a tongue akin not to any of their neighbours, but
to the tongues of Gaul, Italy, and Spain." He is
inclined to think these so-called Dacians are the
surviving representatives of the great Thracian race.
Who they were is, after all, not so important a
question as what they are, these two millions and
a half of Eoumains in Hungary. To put the
statistical figures in another way, Mr. Boner, 2 writ-
ing in 1865, calculates that the Eoumains, natural-
ised in Southern Hungary, number 596 out of every
1000 souls in Transylvania. The fecundity of the
race is remarkable, they threaten to overwhelm the
Saxons, whose numbers, on the other hand, are
seriously on the decrease. They are also supplant-
ing the Magyars in Southern Hungary.
I have myself seen villages which I was told had
been exclusively Magyar, but which are now as
exclusively Eoumain. It is even possible to find
churches where the service conducted in the Magyar
tongue has ceased to be understood by the con-
1 'Geographical Aspect of the Eastern Question,' Fortnightly
Review, January 1877.
2 Transylvania : its Products and People.
To meet a Eoumain possessed even of the first
rudiments of education is an exception to the rule :
even their priests are deplorably ignorant ; but when
we find them in receipt of such a miserable stipend
as 100 florins, indeed in some cases 30 florins a-
year, it speaks for itself that they belong to the
poorest class. The Wallacks lead their lives outside
the pale of civilisation ; they are without the wants
and desires of a settled life. Very naturally the
manumission of the serfs in 1848 found them utterly
unprepared for their political freedom. Neither by
nature or by tradition are they law-respecting ; in
fact, they are very much the reverse.
The Eoumain is a Communist pure and simple ;
the uneducated among them know no other poli-
tical creed. It is not that of the advanced school of
Communism, which deals with social theories, but
a simple consistent belief that, as they themselves
express it, " what God makes grow belongs to one
and all alike/' In this spirit he helps himself to
the fruit in his neighbour s garden when too lazy
to cultivate the ground for himself.
This child of nature is by instinct a nomadic
shepherd and herdsman ; he hates forests, and will
ruthlessly burn down the finest trees to make a
clearing for sheep-pastures. It is impossible to
travel twenty miles in the Southern Carpathians
52 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
without encountering the terrible ravages committed
by these people in the beautiful woods that adorn
the sides of the mountains.
" The Wallacks find it too much trouble to fell the
trees/' says Mr Boner. "They destroy systematically:
one year the bark is stripped off, the wood dries,
and the year after it is fired. . . . In 1862, near
Toplitza, 23,000 jock of forest were burned by the
Judging from what I saw during my travels in
Hungary in 1875-76, I should say the evil described
by Mr Boner ten years before has in no way abated.
The Wallacks pursue their ruthless destruction of
the forests, and the law seems powerless to arrest the
mischief. At present there is wood and enough,
but the time will come when the country at large
must suffer from this reckless waste. There are
about twenty-three million acres of forest in Hun-
gary, including almost the only oak-woods left in
Europe. The great proportion of the forest-land
belongs to the State, hence the supervision is less
keen, and the depredations more readily winked at.
Hiding one day with a Hungarian friend, I asked
what w T ould be the probable cost of a wooden house
then building on the verge of the forest. My friend
replied, laughing, " That depends on whether
the builder stole the w^ood himself, or only bought
it of some one else who had stolen it ; he might
possibly have purchased the wood from the real
owner, but that is not very probable. So you see
I really cannot tell you what the house will cost."
Incendiary fires are very common in Hungary.
Here, again, the Wallacks do their share of mischief.
If they have a grudge against an active magistrate
or a thriving neighbour, his farmstead is set on fire,
not once, but many times probably. Added to this,
the Wallack takes an actual pleasure in wanton
destruction. As an instance, an English company
who are working coal mines in the neighbourhood
of Orsova have been obliged within the last two
years to relay their railway from the mines to the
Danube no less than three times, in consequence of
the Wallacks persistently destroying the permanent
way and stealing the rails.
Notwithstanding all this the Wallacks are not
without their good points. They become capital
workmen under certain circumstances, and they
possess an amount of natural intelligence which
promises better things as the result of education.
" Barring his weakness for tobacco and spirits, the
much-abused Wallack is a useful fellow to the
sportsman and the traveller," said a sporting friend
of mine who visits Transylvania nearly every
Paraffine-works in Oravicza — Gold mine — Coal mines at Auima-Steir-
dorf — Geology — States Eailway Company's mines — Bribery.
The old copper and silver mines of Oravicza are
now abandoned, but the industrial activity of
the place is kept up by the working of coal
mines, which have their depot here. . The States
Eailway Company are the great owners of mines
in this district. They confine their attention
to iron and coal. There are extensive paraffine-
works in Oravicza ; the crude oil is distilled from
the black shale of the Steirdorf coal, yielding five
per cent of petroleum. At Moldova, where we
were recently, the same company have large
sulphuric acid works, employing as material the
iron pyrites of the old mines. Moldova had
formerly the reputation of producing the best
copper in Europe, but the mines fell out of work,
I believe, in 1848.
An English gentleman is working a gold mine
near Oravicza with some success. Subsequent to
my visit his people came upon what I think the
COAL MINES. 55
miners call a " pocket" of free gold. Bismuth is
also raised, though not in large quantities.
Wishing to see the coal mines at Steirdorf, I
rode over the hills in about four hours. As I left
Oravicza in the early morning the view appeared
very striking. Looking back, I could see the little
town straggling along in the shadow of the deeply-
cleft valley, while beyond stretched the sunlit p]ain,
level as a sea, rich with fields of ripe corn. The
mists still lingered around me in the mountains,
rolling about in the form of soft white masses of
vapour, with here and there a fringed edge of
iridescence. The cool freshness of the morning
and the beauty of the varied scenery made the ride
Arriving at Steirdorf, I spent some hours in visit-
ing the ironworks, blast-furnaces, coke-ovens, &c.
The coal produced here is said to be the best in
Hungary. The output, I am told, is 150,000 tons;
but only one-third of this is sold, the rest being used
by the States Eailway Company for their own iron-
works, and for the locomotive engines of their line.
Professor Ansted, 1 who made a professional visit to
this part of the country in 1862, remarks that " the
iron is mined by horizontal drifts or kennels into the
side of the hills. The coal is mined by vertical
1 A Short Trip in Hungary and Transylvania.
56 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
shafts. The ironstone is of the kind common to
some parts of Scotland, and known as blackband.
There are as many as eight principal seams."
I had sent a man in advance from Oravicza to
take my horse back, as I intended returning by rail.
This mountain railway between Oravicza and
Auima-Steirdorf is a remarkable piece of engineer-
ing work. In a distance of about twenty miles it
ascends 1100 feet, in some parts as much as one
foot in five. They have very powerful engines and
a cogwheel arrangement, the line making a zigzag
up the mountain-side. The effect is very curious in
descending to see another train below you creeping
uphill, now at one angle, now at another.
Considering the expensive nature of the works,
and the paucity of passengers, I almost wonder that
the States Eailway Company did more than con-
struct a narrow gauge for the mineral traffic. This
company, I believe, is of Austrian origin, assisted
by French capital — in fact, its head office is in
Paris. It obtained large concessions in the Banat
during the Austrian rule in Hungary, acquiring
a considerable amount of property at very much
below its real value ; in consequence the company
is looked upon with some degree of jealousy by
the Hungarians. Of forest - land alone it owns
about 360 square miles. It has a large staff of
PREVALENCE OF BRIBERY. 57
officials, mostly Germans, who manage the woods
and forests on a very complicated system, which
pays well, but would probably pay better if simpli-
fied. It has also a monopoly of certain things in
its own district, such as salt, &c.
The prevalence of bribery is one of the causes
seriously retarding progress in Hungary. There is
as yet no wholesome feeling against this corruption,
even amongst those who ought to show an example
to the community. They have also a droll way of
cooking accounts down in these parts, but there is
a vast deal of human nature everywhere, so " let no
more be said."
Mineral wealth of the Banat — Wild ride to Dognacska — Equipment
for a riding tour — An afternoon nap and its consequences —
Copper mines — Self-help — Eare insects — Moravicza — Rare
minerals — Deutsch Bogsan — Beschitza.
The neighbourhood of Oravicza is well worth ex-
ploring, especially by those who like knocking about
with a geological hammer. The mines in the Banat
were perhaps worked earlier than any other in this
part of Europe. The minerals of the district
present a very remarkable variety. Von Cotta, I
imagine, is the best authority upon the Banat ore
I had heard a good deal of the silver and copper
mines of Dognacska, and wishing to visit them, I
induced my friend H to accompany me. We
arranged to go on horseback. I was very glad to
escape the " carts of the country," which, notwith-
standing the atrocious roads, are the usual mode of
conveyance. It had always been my intention to
ride about the country, and with this view I brought
my saddle and travelling apparatus from London —
RIDING EQUIPAGE. 59
English-made articles bear knocking about so much,
better than similar things purchased on the Con-
I had an ordinary pigskin saddle, furnished with
plenty of metal rings. I had four saddle-bags in
all, made of a material known as waterproof flax
cloth. It has some advantages over leather, but is
too apt to wear into holes. It is of importance to
have the straps of your saddle-bags very strongly
attached. It is not enough that they are sewn an
inch into the bag, they should extend down the
sides ; for want of this I had to repair mine several
times. Attached to my bridle I had a very con-
venient arrangement for picketing my horse. It
consisted of a rope about twelve feet long, neatly
rolled round itself; this was kept strapped on the
left side of the horse's head.
The chief pride of my outfit was a cooking-appa-
ratus, the last thing out, which merits a few words
of description. It consisted of a round tin box,
eight inches in diameter, capable of boiling three
pints of water in two minutes and a half; of its
own self-consciousness, the sauce-pan could evolve
into a frying-pan, besides other adaptations, includ-
ing space for a Eussian lamp — a vessel holding spirit
— with cellular cavities for salt, pepper, matches,
not forgetting cup, spoon, and plate. The Eussian
60 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
lamp is a very useful contrivance, in case of open-
air cooking; it gives a flame six or seven inches
long, which is not easily affected by wind or
Amongst the stores I took out from England was
some " compressed tea," which is very portable. In
riding, all powdery substances should be avoided;
I had on one occasion practical experience of this.
I had procured some horse-medicine, and giving my
animal one dose, I packed the rest very carefully, as
I thought ; on opening my saddle-bag after a ride
of twenty miles, I found, to my disgust, that this
wretched white powder had mixed itself up with
everything. I wished I had made the horse his
own medicine-chest, and given him his three doses
Let the weather be ever so warm in Hungary, it
is not wise to take even a day's ride without a good
warm plaid ; the changes of temperature are often
very sudden, and herein is the danger of fever.
The peasant says, " In summer take thy bunda
To complete the catalogue of my travelling append-
ages, I may mention a revolver, a bowie-knife, a
compass, good maps of the country, and a flask.
My flask held exactly a bottle of wine ; it was
covered with thick felt, which on being soaked
START FOR DOGNACSKA. 61
in water has the effect of keeping the wine quite
cool for an incredibly long time, even in the
hottest weather. I have been told that the Arabs
in the desert have long been up to this dodge
with respect to their water - bottles, which are
suffered to leak a little to keep up the evaporation.
The food I carried was of course renewed from
time to time, according to circumstances. Naturally
I economised the lamp spirit whenever I could
obtain sticks for boiling the water, as the spirit
could not always be procured in the Hungarian
In starting for Dognacska and Eeschitza, we had
before us a ride of more than thirty miles through
a very rough country, and with uncertain prospects
of accommodation, so I took with me all my
travelling " contraptions," as they say in the west
of England. The weather was excessively hot the
morning H and I started on our expedition.
About noon, after we had ridden some two hours,
the sun's rays beat down upon us with such force
that we made an unintentional halt on coming
to a well by the wayside. It was one of those
picturesque wells so familiar in Eastern landscape —
a beam balanced on a lofty pole, with a rod hanging
from one end, to which is attached the bucket for
62 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Not far from the well was one of those curious
tree hay -stacks to be seen in some parts of
Hungary. It is the practice to clear away a certain
number of the middle branches of a tree, then a
wooden platform is constructed, on which a quantity
of hay is placed in store for winter use. This
mushroom - shaped hay - rick receives a cover of
thatch, out of the centre of which comes the tree-top.
The shade afforded by this wigwam on stilts
looked most inviting just then, and we yielded to
the seduction. We got off, and throwing ourselves
at full length on the grass, allowed our horses to
graze close to us, without taking the trouble to
The heat of the noonday was perfectly over-
powering. The momentary shade was an intense
relief, for we had been in the unmitigated glare of
the sun the whole morning. Of course we quickly
had out our cigar-cases, and puffing the grateful
weed, we were soon in full enjoyment of digni-
fied ease. We were in that idle mood when, one
says with the lotus-eaters, " taking no care" —
" There is no joy but calm !
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things."
" Why, indeed, should we toil ? " I repeated
languidly, at the same time gently and slowly
breaking off the end of my cigar-ash.
A STAMPEDE. 63
"Why, indeed 1 ?" echoed my friend in a sleepy
tone ; and, unlike his usual wont, he was quite dis-
inclined to argue the point, being too lazy for any-
In another moment we had both sprung to our
feet, most thoroughly roused from our apathy ; the
fact was, a big brute of a sheep - dog suddenly
jumped in upon us, barking loud and fiercely. We
very soon found means to rid ourselves of the dog,
but that was the least part of the incident. It
appeared that the noise and suddenness of the
outburst had so frightened our horses that they
took to their heels and galloped off as hard as they
could tear. Of course we were after them like a
shot, but they had gone all manner of ways. I
spotted my little Servian nag breasting the hill to
our right in grand style ; the saddle-bags were
beating his flanks. A pretty race we had after
those brutes of horses ! W T e had to jump ditches,
and struggle up sandbanks, tear through under-
cover, and finally H got " stogged " in a
treacherous green marsh. Was there ever anything
so exasperating and ridiculous ?
After running more or less for three-quarters of
an hour in a sweltering heat, we came upon the
horses in an open glade in the wood, where they
were calmly regaling in green pastures, like lotus-
64 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
eaters themselves. Never from that day forward
have I forgotten the necessary duty of picketing my
It was well on in the afternoon before we got to
Dognacska, a mere mining village, but prettily
situated in a narrow valley. On approaching, we
found it to be a more uncivilised place than we had
expected, and we had not expected much. The chil-
dren ran away screaming at the sight of two horse-
men, so travellers, I expect, are unknown in these
parts. We found out a little inn, indicated by a
wisp of straw hanging above the door, and here we
asked to be accommodated; they were profuse in
promises, but as there was no one to look after the
horses, we had to attend to them ourselves. The
woman of the house said the men were all out, but
would be back presently. We only took a little
bread and cheese, but ordered a substantial supper
to be ready for us on our return later in the evening.
The fact was, we were in a hurry to be off to look at
the works. Lead, silver, iron, and copper are found
at Dognacska, but the working at present is a dead-
alive operation. The blast-furnaces for making pig-
iron are of recent construction, but the smelting-
furnaces were very antiquated.
It was the same answer everywhere, " All belongs
to the Marquis of Carrabas ; " in other words, the
A DESERTED INN. 65
States Railway Company owns both mines and
forests in all directions throughout the Banat,
though at the same time I was told that they do
not undertake metallic mining.
From what I gathered it would seem that the
mines round here are not really very rich. You
cannot depend on the working as in Cornwall, for
they are without regular lodes. A rich "pocket''
occurs here and there, but then is lost, the deposit
not holding on to any depth.
We made a considerable round, and returned
with appetites very sharp set, and counted on the
chicken with paprika that we had ordered to be
ready for us. On arriving at the little inn, great
was our disgust to find it utterly silent and deserted;
neither man, woman, nor child was to be found in or
about the place. With some difficulty we caught
some children, who were peering at us behind the
wall of a neighbour's house, and from these blubber-
ing little animals, who I believe thought we were
going to make mince meat of them, we at length
extracted the fact that the people of the inn were
gone off haymaking. This was really too bad, for
if they had only told us, we could have made our
arrangements accordingly, but here we were
starving and not the remotest prospect of sup-
per. There was no use wasting unparliamentary
66 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
language, so I began foraging in all directions,
while H busied himself in cutting up wood to
make a fire, a process not too easy with an uncom-
monly blunt axe. My researches into the interior
of the dwelling were not encouraging; the fowl
was not there, neither was the paprika. At length
I discovered some eggs and a chunk of stale bread
stowed away in a corner ; there were a great many
things in that corner, but "they were not of my
search " — ignorance is bliss.
H had done his duty by the fire ; he had
even persuaded the water to boil, which I looked
upon as the beginning of soup. Happily for us I
had my co-operative stores with me. From the
depths of one of my saddle-bags I drew out a small
jar of Liebig's meat — a spoonful or two of this gave
quality to the soup. I added ten eggs and some
small squares of bread, flavouring the whole mess
with a pinch of dried herbs, salt, and pepper —
all from "the stores." The result was a capital
compound : in fact I never tasted a better soup of
its kind ; we enjoyed it immensely. We had barely
finished when in came the woman of the house ;
she looked very much surprised, grumbled at our
making such a large fire, and made no apology for
No one came in to clean and feed our horses, and
RIDE TO MORAVICZA. 67
though I offered a liberal trinkgeld to any man or
boy who would attend to them, not a soul could I
get, they all slunk away. I believe they are afraid
of horses at Dognacska. Self-help was the order of
the day, and we just had to look after the poor
We slept in the inn. My bed was made up in the
place where I had found the eggs and bread. I
imagine it was the " guest-corner." I do not wish
to be sensational, and I am no entomologist, there-
fore I will not narrate my experiences that night ;
but I thought of the Irishman who said, " if the fleas
had all been of one mind, they could have pulled
him out of bed." Fortunately the summer nights
are short; we were up with the early birds, and
started before the heat of the day for Moravicza,
another mining village.
It was a pretty ride. We went for some way along-
side a mineral tramway, which followed the bend
of a charming valley. Then we came upon a new
piece of road, made entirely of the whitest marble ;
it looked almost like snow. Afterwards our track
lay through a dense forest of majestic trees. We
could not have found our way unassisted, but one
of the mine inspectors from Dognacska had been
sent with us. It was a delicious ride, the air still
cool and fresh. Sometimes we were in the forest, and
68 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
later, skirting a rocky ravine, we followed for a while
a mountain stream. It was rough work for the
horses, and once, when leading my horse over a
narrow foot-bridge, he slipped off and rolled right
over in the bed of the stream. Luckily he was
none the worse for the accident : these small Servian
horses bear a great deal of knocking about. It was
surprising that the baggage did not suffer, but
except getting a little wet, there was no harm done.
This district is famous, I believe, for several kinds
of rare beetles and butterflies. I saw some beauti-
ful butterflies myself during our ride.
Before reaching Moravicza we passed some large
iron mines, but they were not in full swing. In the
last century the copper mines of this district yielded
extraordinary returns. Baron Born, in his " Travels
in the Banat," mentions a deposit of copper ore
reaching to the amazing depth of 240 feet. Some
very fine syenite occurs in large blocks close to
Moravicza, which might be very valuable if made
more accessible. The village is half hidden in a
narrow valley. Here we were most hospitably
received by Herr W . In his collection of
minerals he has many rare specimens from this
locality, which is peculiarly rich in regard to
variety. This gentleman kindly gave me some good
specimens of magnetite, greenockite (sulphate of
RESCHITZA MINES. 69
cadmium), aurichalcite, Ludwigite, and garnet.
Leaving Moravicza, we rode on to Deutsch Bogsan,
then to Reschitza, where we arrived in the evening.
Here we found a tolerable inn, for it is a place
of some size. We remained two days here ; it is
a flourishing little place, the centre of the States
Railway Works. They make a large quantity of
steel rails, any number of which will be wanted if
half of the projected lines are carried out, which are
only waiting the settlement of the Eastern Question.
In Reschitza there are large blast-furnaces and
Bessemer converters. Enormous quantities of char-
coal are produced; in short, on all sides there is
evidence of mining activity. Narrow-gauge lines
run in every direction, serving the coal mines ; there
is besides a railway for the public from Reschitza to
Deutsch Bogsan, and from the latter place a branch
communicates with the main line between Buda-Pest
The country round Reschitza is rather pretty, but
more tame than what we had seen in other parts.
We returned to Oravicza by a shorter route, riding
the whole distance in one day, which we did easily,
for the roads were not so bad, and it was not much
over thirty miles. Id Hungary it is frequently more
a question of roads than of actual distance.
Election at Oravicza — Officialism — Reforms — Society — Ride to
Szaszka — Fine views — Drenkova — Character of the Serbs —
Svenica — Rough night walk through the forest.
We got back to Oravicza just in time to witness
an election, which had been a good deal talked
about as likely to result in a row. There were
two candidates in the field : one a representative of
the Wallachian party ; the other a director of the
States Eailway Company. In consequence of a
serious disturbance which took place some years
ago, the elections are now always held outside
the town. The voting was in a warehouse adjoin-
ing the railway station. A detachment of troops
was there to keep order, in fact the two parties
were divided from each other by a line of soldiers
with fixed bayonets. It was extremely ridiculous.
The whole affair was as tame as possible ; no
more show of fighting than at a Quakers' meeting.
Of course the States Railway representative had it
all his own way, the officials, whose name is legion,
voting for him to a man. A trainful of Wallacks
THE HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT. 71
arrived from some distant place, but their ardour for
their own candidate was drowned in the unlimited
beer provided for them by their opponents.
From what I heard about politics, or rather about
the Parliament, it seems to me that their House of
Commons, like our own, suffers from too many
talkers. The Hungarian is at all times a great
talker, and when politics open the sluices of his
mind, his speech is a perfect avalanche of words.
His conversation is never of that kind that puts
you in a state of antagonism, as a North German
has so eminently the power of doing; on the
contrary, the listener sympathises whether he will
or no, but on calmer reflection one's judgment is
apt to veer round again.
The members of the House of Commons number
441, and of these 39 are Croats, who are allowed
to use their own language by special privilege.
The members are paid five florins a-day when the
House is sitting, and a grant of four hundred florins
a -year is made for lodgings. There is this
peculiarity about the Hungarian Parliament :
hereditary members of the Upper House can if
they choose offer themselves for election in the
Lower House. Many of the hereditary peers do so,
meanwhile resigning as a matter of course their
seat in the Upper Chamber.
72 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The reform of 1848 extended the franchise so far
that in point of fact it only stops short of manhood
suffrage. The property qualification of a voter is in
some cases as low as a hundred florins yearly income.
Keligious and political liberty was granted to all
denominations. The disabilities of the Jews were
suffered to remain a few years later; but in 1867
they were entirely removed, and at the present
moment several of the most active members of
Parliament are of the Jewish persuasion. Elections
are triennial, an arrangement not approved by many
true patriots, who complain that members think
more of what will be popular with the constituents,
whom they must so soon meet again, than of the
effect of their votes on measures that concern the
larger interests of the State.
Oravicza was so seductive — with its pleasant
society; its " land parties," as they call picnics; its
evening dances, enlivened by gipsy music — that I
remained on and on from want of moral courage to
tear myself away. I had thoughts of changing my
plans altogether, and of devoting myself to a serious
study of the minerals of the Banat, making gay little
Oravicza my head-centre. Looking back after the
lapse of sober time, I doubt if science would have
gained much. Well, well, I made up my mind to
go. " The world was all before me," but I — left
BACK TO SZASZKA. 73
my paradise alone. I had no fair Eve " hand in
hand" to help my wandering steps.
I do think that packing one's portmanteau is
the most prosaic thing in life. Shirts and coats
must be folded, and one's possessions have a way
of increasing which makes packing a progressive
difficulty. However, at last I did persuade my
portmanteau to shut, and forthwith despatched it,
with some other heavy things, to Hatszeg, a small
town in Transylvania, where I intended to be in the
course of ten days.
I was now bound for Uibanya, in the Valea
Tissovitza, a few miles from Orsova on the Danube.
There is an English firm down there engaged in
working the coal mines, and I had an introduc-
tion to one of the partners. I rode from Oravicza
to Szaszka — the place had become quite familiar
to me by this time — and I slept there. The night
was not long, for I left before sunrise. It is
the only way to enjoy the ride ; for the middle of
the day in July is really too hot for exertion in
this part of the world, and I found it was best
to rest during the great heat of the day. From
Szaszka I pushed on to Moldova, and judging from
my former experience of driving the same road, I
must say I prefer the saddle infinitely. I should ob-
serve that on leaving Szaszka I got into a dense mist
74 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
on the top of the mountain. Fortunately I knew
my bearings. When it cleared off I had a magnifi-
cent view all the way, reaching the Danube about
nine o'clock. Here I spent the day and night at
the house of Mr G , with whom I was slightly
acquainted, and who received me hospitably. The
next morning very early I started for Svenica, a
lovely ride along the Szechenyi road. I had been in
the saddle from five to eleven a.m., and reaching
Drenkova, I was not sorry to stop on account of the
great heat. It has only a wretched inn, where
myself and horse fared very badly. The Danube
steamers are not unfrequently obliged to stop at
Drenkova and reship their passengers into smaller
boats. This happens when the water is low, and
sometimes when the season is very dry the river has
to be abandoned for the road. When the Eastern
Question is settled a vast number of improvements
are to be carried out on the Danube it is said. The
first ought to be the deepening of the channel in this
particular part of the river. There would surely
be no great difficulty in removing the obstruc-
tions caused by the rocks. But there are always
political difficulties creeping up in this part of the
world to prevent the carrying out of useful works.
My siesta over, I was off again, soon after three
p.m., on my way to Svenica. I had a splendid
view of the river, and stopped my horse more than
once to watch the boatmen at their perilous work of
shooting the rapids. Getting to Svenica soon after
six o'clock, I made inquiries about the distance to
Uibanya. No two people agreed, but the chief spokes-
man declared it was a couple of hours' walk, and
he volunteered to show me the way. The inn was
horribly dirty, as one might expect from the
appearance of the village, which is inhabited entirely
by Serbs, otherwise Eascians. It appears that a
vast number of Slavs from Servia took refuge in
Hungary at the end of the seventeenth century. Some
were Eoman Catholics, but they were mostly of the
Greek Church. A colony settled at Buda. Lady
Mary Wortley Montague, writing from that town in
1717, says that the Governor of Buda assured her
that the Rascian colony without the walls would
furnish him with 12,000 fighting men at any mo-
ment. They were always a card in the hands of
the Austrians against the Magyars.
Leopold I. granted the Servian refugees very
considerable privileges and immunities, causing
thereby great jealousy among the Hungarians.
Always favoured by the Government of Vienna,
these people have invariably shown themselves pro-
Austrian ; and in 1848 they were destined to be
a thorn in the side of the proud Magyars, who
76 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
despised them, and took no pains to disguise the
feeling, even at a moment so singularly uu propitious
as the eve of their own rupture with Austria. It
seems that in the month of May in that eventful
year the Eascians sent a deputation to Pesth, to the
Diet, setting forth certain grievances and demand-
ing redress. The Magyars rejected their petition
with haughty contempt, " a grievous fault," says
General Klapka in his history. The result was
that the Kascian deputies returned home in a state
of great disgust at their reception, and immediately
took up arms against the Hungarians. This was
before the Government of Vienna had thrown off
the mask. These facts are not without significance
at the present time. The Eascians are strongly
imbued with ideas of Panslavism, and now disdain
any other name than that of Servians ; it would be
a great offence to call the humblest individual of
the race by the old appellation of Eascian or Eatzen.
These so-called Servian subjects of the crown of St.
Stephen number about 800,000 !
The subject is worth mentioning at some length,
because a good deal of confusion exists respecting
this particular division of the great Slav family.
Judging from what I saw of the inhabitants of
Svenica, I think they have not progressed very far
in the ways of civilisation. I could get nothing in
the whole place but a piece of bread ; but I was not
to be balked of my tea, so I entered the principal
room in the wretched little inn, and proceeded to
take out my cooking apparatus, I was obliged to
content myself with a thick fluid, which they called
water; no better was to be procured. Now it
happens that my spirit-lamp, when it begins to boil
up, makes a tremendous row for two or three
minutes, as if it meant to burst up with a general
explosion. This circumstance, and my other novel
proceedings, had attracted a lot of idlers round the
door, and before the tea-making was over a number
of Serbs and Wallacks crowded into the room in a
state of excited curiosity, and it was with difficulty
that I defended my tea-machine from absolute dis-
memberment. Though my horse and I had done
a good day's work, I determined to push on to
Uibanya, for it seemed to be not much more than
a two hours' walk ; moreover, I had been warned of
the bad reputation of the people in the village. I
had heard it was not an uncommon trick with them
to steal a traveller's horse in the night, and quietly
ship him over the Danube into Servia. I had no
fancy for losing my possessions in this way, so
altogether it seemed better to go on.
When I started with the guide I had hired from
Svenica, there was still a good half-hour before sun-
78 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
set. We commenced at once climbing a very steep
and stony path, where I had to lead my horse ;
indeed at times it was very much like getting my
horse over the top of a high-pitched roof, if such
an exploit were possible. We shortly lost all trace
of a path. I turned several times to look at the
fine glimpses of the Danube far below us. Arriving
at a fringe of wood, I was not a little surprised to
see emerge from thence a sturdy Wallack, carrying
the usual long staff, armed with an axe at one end.
I say surprised, because he at once joined in with us,
and though I had not seen him during our climb,
I had my strong suspicions that he had followed us
all the way. My guide spoke a little German, and
I demanded of him in a sharp tone what the other
fellow meant by joining us. My guide answered
that he was afraid to return alone, for that pres-
ently we should get into " the forest, where it would
be as dark as a cave," and he had asked the other
man to come with us from Svenica. As accord-
ing to his own account he had traversed the forest
for nineteen years, I thought he might very well
have gone back alone ; besides, if there was any
truth in what he said, why should he have made a
mystery about his companion till we were some way
on our journey ?
We were now on the outskirts of a thick forest, the
QUESTIONABLE COMPANY. 79
sun had set in great beauty, but every hue of colour
had now faded from "the trailing clouds of glory ;"
faded, indeed, so quickly that before the fact of
twilight could be realised, it was already night !
It was literally dark as a cave when we pene-
trated into the forest. My guide had a lantern,
which he lighted ; for it would, indeed, have been
impossible to make any progress without the light.
Though we were again in a path, the way was
frequently barred by the trunks of fallen trees.
We were still ascending, occasionally coming upon
a steep rough bit, difficult for the horse on account
of the loose stones. I think we must have looked
very much like a party of smugglers. The ex-
forester walked first, swinging his lantern as he
moved ; then came the Wallack volunteer, stumping
along with axe-headed staff. He wanted very much
to fall into the rear, but this I would not allow, and
in a resolute tone ordered him forward. I followed
with my little grey horse close upon the heels of
my companions, keeping all the time a keen and
suspicious eye upon their movements. They spoke
together occasionally, but I was profoundly ignorant
of what they said, not understanding a word of
Where it was anyhow possible we went at a good
pace, but the underwood and fallen trees hindered
80 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
us a good deal. My guide told me to look out for
wolves. These forests are said to be full of them
in summer, and he added that a lot of pigs belong-
ing to a neighbour of his had been carried off by
the wolves only the night before. I took this
opportunity of telling him that I was a dead shot,
pointing to my revolver, which was handy ; adding
a piece of information that I made much of, namely,
that I was expected at Uibanya.
The doubts I felt about the honesty of the guide
and the other fellow were increased by a suspicion
that they were leading me the wrong way. We
had been three hours in the forest, always ascending.
Now I knew that my destination was situated in a
valley. I asked repeatedly when we should get
there, and invariably came the same short answer,
" Grleich" (directly). I noticed that we were steadily
walking in the same direction, for the trees being
less thick I could keep my eye on the Polar star :
this was so far satisfactory. Presently I saw a
light or two in the distance, and before long we
came to a cottage, the first in what turned out to
be the little village of Eibenthal. Here we came
upon a party of miners, who gave me the pleasant
information that we were still an hour's walk from
Uibanya ! There was nothing for it but to go on.
I confess I breathed more freely in the open ; we
A LONG TWO HOURS' WALK. 81
were quite clear of the forest now. On we went, a
regular tramp, tramp, through a long valley skirted
with woods on either side. This last part of the
walk seemed interminable. It was eighteen hours
since I had started in the morning. I was physically-
weary, and I really believe I went off to sleep for
a second or two, though my legs kept up their
automatic motion. I am sure I must have slept,
for I had a notion, like one has sometimes in sleep,
of extraordinary extension of time. It seemed to
me that for years of my life I had done nothing
else than walk under the starlit sky into a vast
cave of black darkness, which only receded farther
and farther as the swinging of the lamp advanced
with its monotonous vibration of light.
It was just midnight when I descried a faint light
in the distance. It grew as we tramped on. I
knew therefore it was no deceptive star setting in
the horizon, but the welcome firelight of a human
habitation. This time it was my goal — Uibanya !
I stopped for a moment and fired off a couple of
shots to announce our approach, whereupon some
of the people in the house rushed out to see what
was up, and I made myself known by an English
"halloo," and out of the darkness came a voice say-
ing, "All right."
"All's well that ends well," I said to myself as
82 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHTANS.
I paid my guide for his night's work. I looked
round for the Wallack, but the fellow had sloped
I was most kindly and hospitably received,
and, ye gods, with what an appetite I ate the
excellent supper quickly prepared for me !
Hospitable welcome at Uibanya— Excursion to the Servian side of
the Danube — Ascent of the Stierberg — Bivouac in the woods —
Magnificent views towards the Balkans — Fourteen eagles dis-
turbed — Wallack dance.
A couple of days after my arrival at Uibanya, my
friend F kindly arranged a little expedition
into Servia, with the object of making the ascent of
the Stierberg, a mountain of respectable elevation,
commanding very fine views. Our guide was the
postmaster of Plavishovitza, who professed a know-
ledge of the country round about. We drove
down to the Danube, and there crossed the river
in a primitive " dug-out," and almost immediately
commenced the ascent of the Stierberg. It became
quite dark by the time we got half-way up the
mountain ; this we were prepared for, having made
arrangements for camping out the night. We
had brought with us an ample store of provisions,
not forgetting our plaids. The heat was so great
when we started that we dispensed with coats, and
84 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
even waistcoats, and went on rejoicing in the cool
freedom of our shirt-sleeves. Each wore a broad
leather waist-belt, stuck round with revolvers and
bowie-knives. I believe we looked like a couple
of the veriest brigands. Had we only been spotted
by a " correspondent/' I make little doubt that we
should have been telegraphed as " atrocities " to the
London evening papers.
The more civilisation closes round one, the more
enjoyable is an occasional " try back" into barbarism.
This feeling made the mere fact of camping out
seem delightful. Our first care was to select a
suitable spot ; we found a clearing that promised
well, and here we made a halt. We deposited our
batterie de cuisine, arranged our plaids, and then
proceeded to make a fire with a great lot of dried
sticks and logs of wood. The fire was soon crack-
ling and blazing away in grand style, throwing out
mighty tongues of flame, which lit up the dark
recesses of the forest.
Now came the supper, which consisted of robber-
steak and tea. I always stuck to my tea as the
most refreshing beverage after a long walk or ride.
I like coffee in the morning before starting — good
coffee, mind ; but in the evening there is nothing
like tea. The robber-steak is capital, and deserves
an " honourable mention" at least: it is composed
CAMPING ON THE STIERBERG. 85
of small bits of beef, bacon, and onion strung alter-
nately on a piece of stick ; it is seasoned with
pinches of paprika and salt, and then roasted over
the fire, the lower end of the stick being rolled
backwards and forwards between your two palms
as you hold it over the hot embers. It makes a
delicious relish with a hunch of bread.
Our camp - fire and its surroundings formed a
romantic scene. We had three Serbs with us as
attendants, and there was F and myself, all
seated in a semicircle to windward of the smoke.
The boles of the majestic beech-trees surrounding
us rose like stately columns to support the green
canopy above our heads, and in the interstices of
the leafy roof were visible spaces of sky, so deeply
blue that the hue was almost lost in darkness; but
out of the depths shone many a bright star in
infinite brilliancy. The scene was picturesque in
the highest degree. The flickering firelight, our
Serbians in their quaint dresses moving about
the gnarled roots and antlered branches of
the trees, upon which the light played fitfully,
and the mystery of that outer rim of darkness,
all helped to impress the fancy with the charm of
After supper was finished, and duly cleared
away, we all disposed ourselves for sleep, taking
86 KOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
care to have the guns ready at hand, for we might
be disturbed by a wolf or a bear on his nightly
rounds. Our attendants had previously collected
some large logs of wood, large almost as railway-
sleepers, to keep up a good fire through the night.
Wrapping my plaid round me, I laid myself
down, confident that I should sleep better than in
the softest feather bed. I gave one more look at
the romantic scene, and then turned on my side to
yield to the drowsiness of honest fatigue.
But, alas ! there was no sleep for me. I had hardly
closed my eyes when I was attacked by a regiment
of mosquitoes. I was so tormented by these brutes
that I never slept a wink. I sat up the greater part
of the night battling with them ; and what provoked
me more was the tranquillity of F 's slumbers.
I could bear it no longer, so at three a.m. I woke
him up, saying it was time for us to be stirring if
we wanted to get to the top of the mountain to see
the sun rise. I believe he thought I need not have
called him so early, and grumbled a little, which
was very unreasonable, for the fellow had been
sleeping for hours to my knowledge. Eousing our
Serbs, we set them about making preparations
for breakfast; but when the water was boiled and
the tea made, it turned out to be utterly undrink-
able. The water-cask had had sour wine in it, and
A FLOCK OF EAGLES. 87
the water was spoiled. We consoled ourselves with
the hope that we might get some sheep's milk on
We reached the summit of the Stierberg before
five o'clock ; it has no great elevation, but the
position commands magnificent views of all the
surrounding country. Advancing to the verge of
the precipice overlooking the Danube, a sheer wall
of rock 2000 feet in depth, we signalled our arrival
by discharging our rifles simultaneously. This "set
the wild echoes flying." Each cliff and scaur of
the narrow gorge flung back the ringing sound
till the sharp reverberations stirred the whole defile.
Before the fusillade had ceased we beheld a sight
I shall never forget. The sound had disturbed a
colony of eagles, who make their nests in these
rocky fissures. They flew out in every direction
from the face of the cliff, and went soaring round
and round, evidently in much alarm at the
unwonted noise. We counted fourteen of these
magnificent birds. I wanted to get a shot at one,
but they never came near enough. After circling
round for several minutes they flew with one
accord to the opposite woods, and were no more
The view from the Stierberg is splendid. On every
side were stretches of primeval forest. Bounding
88 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the horizon on the north-east we made out the
Transylvanian Alps ; to the south lay Servia, and
more distant still the Balkan Mountains. As the
sun rose higher, lighting up in a marvellous way all
the- details of this fair landscape, we could see far
eastward a strip of the Danube flashing in the
We turned reluctantly from the grand panorama,
but we began to feel the distressing effects of thirst.
We had failed to procure any sheep's milk, but the
postmaster declared that when we got back to our
camping-place we should be able to find some fresh
water. Arrived at this pleasant spot, we rested
under the beech-trees, and sent off two of the Serbs
to look for water. After waiting some time one of
them brought us some, but it was from a stagnant
pool, alive with animalculae, quite unfit to drink. I
never remember suffering so much from thirst. The
heat was excessive, but happily before reaching the
Danube we found a delicious spring gushing out
from the limestone rock. It was an indescribable
refreshment for thirsty souls. We further regaled
ourselves with a good meal at the village on the
Hungarian side of the Danube, after crossing again
in the "dug-out."
The pope of the village entered into conversation
with us, and finding I was a stranger he ordered a
WALLACK DANCE. 89
Wallack dance for our amusement. The costumes
of the women were picturesque, but the dance itself
was a slow affair, very unlike the lively czardas of
the Magyar peasant.
A hunting expedition proposed — Drive from Uibanya to Orsova —
Oriental aspect of the market-place — Cserna Valley — Hercules-
Bad, Mehadia — Post-office mistakes — Drive to Karansebes —
Rough customers en route — Lawlessness — Fair at Karansebes —
Podolian cattle — Ferocious dogs.
During my stay at Uibanya the Forstmeister
(head of the forest department) from Karansebes
came over on business, and he told us there was to
be a shooting expedition on the Alps in his district.
He further invited us to take part in it, and I gladly
accepted, as it fitted in very well indeed with my
plans. Karansebes is directly on the route to
Transylvania, whither I was bound. The district
we were to shoot over is the rocky border-land be-
tween Hungary and Koumania. My friend F
agreed to accompany me, and on our way we pro-
posed visiting the celebrated baths of Mehadia.
Early one morning we started for Orsova, a drive
of thirty miles, splendid scenery all the way. The
latter part of our journey was by the side of the
Danube, on the Szechenyi road again.
DRIVE ALONG THE DANUBE. 91
We passed a number of hay-ricks in trees, which
I have before described. Some of them were built
up in the form of an inverted cone. The luxuriance
of the foliage is very striking. Nothing can exceed
the beauty of the wild vines so frequent on the
banks of the Danube. They fall in graceful
festoons from the trees ; sometimes they reach
across to the trees on the other side of the road,
forming a complete arch of greenery. In the autumn
the vine leaves turn to a glowing red, like the
Virginian creeper, and then the effect of this
mass of rich colouring is indeed glorious. Mean-
while gay butterflies of rare form fluttered about
among the trailing vines, and bright green lizards
darted in and out of the stone wall. Then an eagle
or a vulture would swoop down from the heights,
and settle himself on some pinnacle of rock, where
he remained, motionless as a stuffed bird.
When we reached Orsova we only stopped long
enough to get some dinner and take the usual
siesta. This place is on the frontier ; three miles
farther down you pass out of Hungary into
Koumanian territory. Had we stayed any time
we should certainly have gone to see Trajan's
bridge, about eighteen miles hence. The so-called
" Iron Gates" are just below Orsova. The designa-
tion is a misnomer, for the river ceases to be pent
92 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
up between a defile, the hills recede from the
shore, and the " Gates " are merely ledges of
rock peculiarly difficult for navigation. Orsova
is celebrated as the place where the regalia of
Hungary were concealed by Kossuth and his
friends from 1849 to 1853. The iron chest which
held the palladium of the kingdom, the sacred
crown of St Stephen, was buried in a waste spot,
covered with willows, not far from the road.
There is a somewhat Oriental look about Orsova.
In the market-place there is a profusion of bright-
coloured stuffs, prayer-carpets, and Turkish slippers.
A narrow island of no great length, just below
Orsova, is still held by the Turks. There is a small
mosque with minarets visible amongst a group of
the funeral cypress - tree, so characteristic of the
presence of the Turk.
Our road to Mehadia was away from the river,
following instead the lead of a lateral valley. As
we drove out of Orsova we passed a lot of Wallack
huts forming; a kind of suburb. These huts are
built of wattles stuccoed with mud, always having
on one side of the dwelling a space enclosed by
stockades some ten feet high ; this is a necessary
protection for their animals against the depredations
of w T olves and bears, which abound here.
Leaving this village we continued our way
through the Cserna Valley, which has few signs
of cultivation beyond the orchards and vineyards
that climb up the hillsides of the narrow ravine.
On our left we passed a ruined aqueduct of
Turkish origin, eleven arches still remaining. As
we proceeded, the valley narrowed considerably,
and the scenery became more wild and striking.
Here vegetation is in its richest profusion ; the
parasitical plants are surpassingly graceful, wreath-
ing themselves over rocks and trees.
Mehadia, or more strictly, Hercules-Bad, is the
most fashionable bath in Hungary. The village
of Mehedia must not be confounded with it, for
it lies at a distance of six miles thence. The
situation of Hercules -Bad is extremely romantic.
Above the narrow rocky valley rise bare lime-
stone peaks, girdled with rich forests of every
variety of foliage. There are two kinds of springs,
the sulphurous and the saline. The Hercules source
bursts out from a cleft of the rock in such an
immense volume that it is said to yield 5000 cubic
feet in an hour. The water has to be cooled before
it is used, the natural heat being as much as 131°
Fahrenheit. Its efficacy is said to be so great
that the patient while in the bath "feels the evil
being boiled out of him " ! Some of the visitors had
not yet had their turn of cooking, I suppose, or if
94 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
they had been boiled, were rather underdone, for
I met a good many gouty and rheumatic patients
still in the hobbling condition.
The country round Mehadia is so wild, both in
regard to the scenery and to the native population,
that the contrast of dropping suddenly into a
fashionable watering-place is very curious. This
bath is much frequented for pleasure and health by
the luxury-loving Roumanians, who invariably dis-
play the latest extravagance of Parisian fashion.
Men in patent-leather boots devoted to cards and
billiards, while in the immediate neighbourhood of
glorious scenery, with bear and chamois shooting to
be had for the asking, seem to me " an unknown
species," as Voltaire said of the English. From
what I learned of the ways of the place it seems
that the Magyar and Transylvanian visitors keep
quite aloof from the Eoumanian coterie ; they
have never anything pleasant to say of one another.
At Boseg, a bath in the Eastern Carpathians
which I visited later, the separation is so complete
that the Roumanians go at one period of the season
and the Hungarian visitors at another.
It had always been my intention to stay a few
days at the Hercules-Bad, and I had given the place
as an address for English letters. Accordingly I
presented myself at the poste restante. Seeing that
A LETTER MISCARRIED. 95
I was a Britisher, the postmaster gave me all the
letters he possessed with English postmarks. Many
of them were of considerable antiquity. Out of the
goodly pile I selected some half-dozen that bore my
name ; but I was greatly surprised to come across
one that had made a very bad shot for its destina-
tion. It bore the simple name of some poor Jack-
tar, with the address "H.M.S. Hercules."
The Eomans had their etablissement here. The
present name comes from the " Thermae Herculis "
of classic times. There are many interesting
remains here — fragments of altars, sculptured
capitals, and stones with inscriptions, all telling the
same story — the story of Eoman dominion and
Just then we had no time for archaeology, for
we wanted to push on to Karansebes, and we
stayed only a day and a half at Mehadia. As it
was more than we could comfortably manage to
do the whole distance in a day, we arranged to
drive as far as Terregova and sleep there. We left
Mehadia early in the afternoon, F 's groom rid-
ing my horse. The road was excellent — all the
roads are in the districts of the Military Frontier.
As an example of the quick temper of the Wallacks,
I will mention a little incident which happened on
the road. We met some of these people, and one
96 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
of them, who was looking another way, stumbled
most awkwardly against the groom's horse, and very
nearly met with an accident. Though it was so
clearly his own fault, he had hardly recovered him-
self when, raising his axe, he was about to strike
our servant on the head. Meanwhile another fellow
seized a big stone, which I believe was going to
make a target of the same head. Luckily I turned,
and seeing the scuffle, I was out with my revolver
in a moment, pointing it at the man with the axe.
He understood my language, and made a hasty
retreat. F said he had no doubt it would
have gone badly with the groom if the distance
between us had been greater.
We were in for adventures in a small way that
evening. Just after sunset, when it was already
rather dark in the valley, we found ourselves sud-
denly stopped by a man, who leaped out from behind
a rock, seized the horses, and with a powerful grasp
brought them down on their haunches. F had
the reins, so I jumped down and made straight at
the fellow, revolver in hand. I imagine he did not
expect to find us armed, or he found us literally
too many for him, but diving into the bushes, he
was gone even quicker than he came.
We had hardly got the horses into full trot again,
when we noticed two cartloads of Wallacks driving
side by side on in front of us. When we came up
they would not let us pass, and continued this little
game for more than ten minutes, notwithstanding
all our expostulations. They were driving much
slower than ourselves, and F began to lose
patience ; so holding the horses well in hand, he told
me to fire off my revolver in the air. After this
they thought proper to draw aside, but even then
leaving us so little room that we risked our necks in
passing them in a very awkward corner. I was told
afterwards by the postmaster of Karansebes that a
diligence had fallen over the precipice at this very
place, only a very short time before, owing to the
Wallack drivers purposely obstructing the road.
Such are the Wallacks — I beg their pardon, Rou-
When we got to Terregova, we were glad to find
quite a decent inn, the Wilder Mann, kept by civil
people. After supper we had a chat with our
hostess, who being a regular gossip, was very pleased
to tell us a lot of stories about the wild character of
the country-people. She was very sorry that the
frontier was no longer under the Austrian military
rule, for, she said, having been accustomed to the
strict military system so long, the Wallacks, now
they have more liberty, have become utterly law-
less, and exceedingly troublesome to their German
98 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
neighbours. She added that the gendarmes, who
were supposed to keep order in the district, were
far too few to be of any real use. She com-
plained bitterly against the Wallacks for firing the
forests, and they had become much worse since
'48. " In fact the time will come/' she said,
" when wood will be scarce, and then everybody
will suffer ; but they don't think, and they don't
care, and just lay their hands on anything."
The Government certainly ought to look to the
preservation of the forests, and above all they
ought to make the law respected amongst a popula-
tion which is so little advanced in civilisation as to
be indifferent to the first principles of order. The
Wallacks want education, and above all they want
a decent priesthood, before they can make any
sound progress. With all their ignorance and law-
lessness, it is curious that they pride themselves on
being descendants of the ancient Eomans, ignoring
their " Dacian sires."
The next day we went on to Karansebes — a good
road and charming scenery. This is the highroad
into Transylvania, called the Eisenthor Pass ; but it
hardly merits the name of pass, inasmuch as it only
crosses the spur of the hills. The distance from
Orsova on the Danube to Hatszeg in Transylvania
is 110 miles: the district is known as the " Eo-
KARANSEBES FAIR. 99
manen Banat," and, as the name imports, is prin-
cipally inhabited by Wallacks, otherwise Bou-
We arrived at Karansebes in the afternoon, and
by good-luck it chanced to be fair-day. This is a
central market for a considerable extent of country,
so that there is always a great gathering of people.
In driving into the town we passed a long bridge
which crosses a low-lying meadow, the central
arch being sufficient to span the stream, at least in
summer. From this elevation we had a capital
view of the fair, which was being held in these
meadows, and could look down leisurely on the
whole scene ; and a very novel and amusing sight
There were hundreds of people ; and what a
variety of races and diversity of costumes ! The
Wallack women, in their holiday suits, were the most
picturesque. Many of them were handsome, and
they have generally a very superior air to the men ;
they are better dressed and more civilised looking.
There were a sprinkling of Magyars in braided
coats, or with white felt cloaks richly embroidered
in divers colours. But the blue-eyed, fair-com-
plexioned German was far more numerous. The
Magyar element is very much in the minority in
this particular part of Hungary. The Jews and the
100 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
gipsies were there in great numbers — they always
are at fairs — in the quality of horse- dealers and
vendors of wooden articles for the kitchen. The
Jew is easily distinguished by his black corkscrew
ringlets, and his brown dressing-gown coat reaching
to his heels. This ancient garment suits him " down
to the ground ; " in fact his yellow visage and greasy
hat would not easily match with anything more
cleanly. These Jewish frequenters of fairs are, as
a rule, of the lowest class, hailing either from the
Marmaros Mountains in North-Eastern Hungary,
or from Galicia.
The fair is really a very important exhibition of
the products and manufactures of the country, and
it is well worth the attention of the stranger, who
may pass on with the motley crowd through streets
of stalls and booths. One annexe is devoted to
furniture, from a winged wardrobe down to a
wooden spoon. In another part you see piles of
Servian rugs, coarse carpets, sheepskin bundas,
hairy caps of a strange peaked form, broad hats
made of reed or rush, and the delightful white felt
garments before mentioned, which are always em-
broidered with great taste and skill. Horses, cows,
and pigs are also brought here in great numbers to
exchange owners. The long-horned cattle are per-
haps the most striking feature in the whole fair.
HUNGARIAN OXEN. 101
They are white, with a little grey on the necks>
flanks, and buttocks. Oxen are much used for
hauling purposes as well as for the plough. A pair
of oxen, it is considered, will do the work of four
Professor Wrightson says : " The Podolian is
an aboriginal race, descended from the wild urox
(Bos primigenius). The race is remarkable for its
capability of resisting influences of climate, and its
contentedness with poor diet. . . . The Hungarian
oxen are considered by naturalists as the best living
representative of the original progenitors of our
domestic cattle." Of the buffalo the same writer
says : "It was introduced into Hungary by Attila ;
it is found in the lowlands, on both sides of the
Danube and the Theiss, Lower Hungary, and Tran-
sylvania. In 1870 there were upwards of 58,000 in
Transylvania, and more than 14,000 in Hungary." 1
Later in my tour, when at Klausenburg, I had an
opportunity of seeing an extensive dairy where up-
wards of a hundred buffalo cows were kept. The
farm alluded to is admirably managed, and, I am
told, yields very profitable returns.
It is the opinion of Professor Wrightson that cattle
are diminishing in Hungary owing to the breaking
1 ' Report on the Agriculture of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,'
Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, vol. x. Part xi. No. xx.
102 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
up of pastures and the recurrence of rinderpest. He
says he does not think that the English market can
look to Hungary for a supply of cattle at present.
This gentleman did not, I believe, visit Tran-
sylvania, and I am inclined to think the supply
from that part of the kingdom is greatly on the
increase ; there the pastures are not in process of
being turned into arable land, and the rise in prices
has given an impetus to the profitable employment
of capital in raising stock.
In walking round the fair, we took notice of the
horses. I could have made a better bargain than I
did in Servia. A useful cart-horse could be bought,
I found, for about six or seven pounds. I daresay I
could have picked out a few from the lot fit for rid-
ing, but of course they were rough animals, mere
peasant horses. Some of the colts, brought in a
string fresh from the mountains, were wild, untamed-
looking creatures ; but hardly as wild as the Wal-
lacks who led them, dressed in sheepskin, and
followed each by his savage wolf-like dog. The
dogs are very formidable in Hungary. It is never
safe to take a walk, even in the environs of a town,
without a revolver, on account of these savage brutes,
who, faithful to their masters, are liable to make the
most ferocious attacks on strangers. This special
kind of dog is in fact most useful — to the shepherd
A SAGACIOUS DOG. 103
on the lonely puszta, to the keeper of the vineyard
through the night-watches, when the wild boar
threatens his ravages — and in short he acts the part
of rural police generally.
In Hungary, as elsewhere, there are dogs of kindly
nature and gentle culture. I can record a curious
instance of reasoning power in a dog named "Jockey,"
who is well known at Buda Pest. He has the habit
of crossing over from Pest to Buda every morning of
his life in one or another of the little steamboats
that ply backwards and forwards. He regularly
takes his walk over there, and then returns as before
by steamer. This is his practice in summer ; but
when winter arrives, and the ice on the Danube
stops the traffic of the steamboats, then Jockey
has recourse to the bridge. I believe there is no
doubt of this anecdote. Another instance of sagacity
is attributed to him. His master lost a lawsuit
through the rascality of his attorney ; Jockey
feels so strongly on the subject that he snarls and
growls whenever a lawyer enters his master's house.
Here, of course, the instinct is stronger than the
powers of discrimination.
Post-office at Karansebes — Good headquarters for a sportsman —
Preparations for a week in the mountains — The party starting
for the hunt — Adventures by the way — Fine trees — Game —
Hut in the forest — Beauty of the scenery in the Southern
We put up at the Griinen Baum, the principal inn
at Karansebes. My first business was to worry
everybody about my guns, which I had telegraphed
should be sent from Bucla Pest to this place. I am
afraid the postmaster will never hear the name
of an Englishman without associating the idea of
a fussy, irritable, impatient being, such as I was,
about my guns. Of course it was very provoking
that they had not arrived. This postmaster was a
pattern official, an honour to his calling ; he not
only bore with me, but he offered to lend me a gun
if mine did not come. In Germany there is a say-
ing, "So grob wie ein postbeamter" The postmaster
of Karansebes was a glorious exception to the rule.
On one occasion, while I was waiting in the office
for an answer to one of the many telegrams that I had
despatched, a peasant woman came in with a letter
without an address. The postmaster seeing this,
and thinking she could not write, asked her to whom
he should address the letter. She was dreadfully in-
dignant with him for his well-meant offer, and said,
" My son knows all about it — it is no business of
" But I can't forward it without an address/' ob-
jected the postmaster.
" Yes, you must," she rejoined, getting more and
more angry — " you must ; that's what you are paid
Here some other people came to the rescue, and
by dint of all talking at once for full twenty minutes,
they induced her to give her son's address ; but it
was a clear case of "convinced against her will,"
for as she quitted the office she turned round and
said, with a shake of the head, "It's all very well
to put that ; but my son will know who it is from."
Karansebes is not at all a bad place as head-
quarters for the sportsman. In the neighbourhood
there is very good snipe-shooting in spring and
autumn. The fishing too is excellent for trout and
grayling. The bear, the wolf, and the chamois are
to be met with on the heights, which form this
portion of the great horseshoe of the Carpathians.
The day before our expedition we were occupied
106 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
with a few necessary preparations. When these
matters were settled to our satisfaction, we went off
in good time to secure a few hours' sleep, as we were
to start at four a.m.
F and I were up in capital time, eager for
the day's work, and anxious, moreover, not to keep
the rest of the party waiting. There was an
Austrian general, however, amongst the number,
and therefore we might safely have slept another
hour. The morning was very unpromising, the rain
descended in a dull persistent downpour. We tried
to hope it was the pride of the morning. The
prospect was dreary enough to damp the spirits of
some of our party. One man found that urgent
private affairs called him hence ; another averred
he had an inflammatory sore throat. I expected
a third would say he had married a wife and
could not come. Happily, however, the weather
cleared a little as the morning advanced, and further
desertions were arrested.
At length the whole party got off in sundry
leiterwagen, a vehicle which has no counterpart
in England, and the literal rendering of a ladder-
waggon hardly conveys the proper notion of the
thing itself. This long cart, it is needless to say,
is without springs ; but it has the faculty of
accommodating itself to the inequalities of the
WALLACK GIRLS. 107
road in a marvellous manner. It has, moreover, a
snake-like vertebrae, and even twists itself when
My guns never came after all, and I was obliged
to borrow. The one lent me had one barrel smooth-
bore, the other rilled.
We drove for some distance along the Hatszeg
highroad, then turned off to the right. Continuing
our course for some time, we came to the pretty little
village of Morul, where we breakfasted. It was
quite the cleanest and neatest Wallack settlement
that I had seen at all. It is celebrated for the
beauty of its women. Several very pretty girls in
their picturesque costume were gathered round the
village well, engaged in filling their classical- shaped
pitchers. Every movement of their arms was grace
itself. The action was not from the elbow, but from
the shoulder, whereby one sees the arm extended in
the curved line of beauty, instead of sticking out
at a sharp angle, as with us Western races.
The weather had improved considerably. Our
breakfast, for which we halted on the further out-
skirts of the village, was very agreeably discussed
amidst much general good-humour. The peasants
regarded us with frank undisguised curiosity,
coming round to watch our proceedings.
After leaving Morul w T e got really into the wilds.
108 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
A very bad road led up through a magnificent
valley, the scenery most romantic ; indeed every
turn brought to view some new aspect, calling forth
admiration. On our right was a fine trout-stream
of that delicious brown tint welcome to the eye
of the fisherman. At times the water was seen
breaking over a rocky bed with much foam and fret,
and then would find for itself a tranquil pool
beneath the shadow of some mighty beech-tree.
The foliage of the forest, which closed down upon
the valley, was simply magnificent. The trees in
the Southern Carpathians are far finer than those
of the Austrian Alps ; they attain a greater aver-
age height. The variety, too, was very striking in
many places. The strip of green pasturage that
bordered our road was fringed with weeping birch-
trees, which gave a singular charm to the woodland
A turn in the direction of the valley brought us
within sight of the high range of mountains form-
es o o
ing the frontier between Hungary and Eoumania.
Some of the higher summits were ominously covered
with dirty clouds. It was observed that they were
lifting, at least some of the most sanguine thought
so. However, judging from my former experiences
in Upper Austria and Styria, I could not say that
I thought it was a good sign, supposing even they
IN THE FOREST. 109
were lifting. I think myself there is better chance
of fine weather in high regions when the clouds
descend and disappear in the valleys.
Coming shortly to the foot of the mountain, the
Sarka, which is upwards of 6000 feet in height,
we made a temporary halt. We had now to change
our leiterwagen for horses. All signs of a road had
long ceased. On the green knoll in front were a
herd of shaggy mountain horses with their Wallack
drivers — as wild a scene as could well be imagined.
Here we unpacked our various stores of provi-
sions, fortified ourselves with a good dinner, and
made necessary arrangements for the change of
locomotion. There was some trouble in properly
distributing the things for the pack-horses. Care
had to be taken to give each horse his proper
weight and no more. It was also very important
to see that the packages were rightly balanced to
I had left my own horse at Karansebes, because
he was in need of rest ; so F and I had to
select horses from amongst the promiscuous lot
brought up by the "hunt." We chose out a
couple of decent-looking animals — indeed I rather
prided myself on my selection, drew attention to
his good points, and rallied F on his less
110 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
At length everything was ready. Judging from the
amount of baggage, the commissariat department
was all right. The order of march was this: ten
gentlemen, like so many knights on horseback with
lances in rest, rode on in front, in Indian file :
our long alpen-stocks really somewhat resembled
lances. Each man had his gun slung behind.
In the rear of these gallant knights came a dozen
pack-horses heavily laden, each with his burden
well covered up with sheepskins ; behind again
followed a lot of Wallacks — these irregulars were to
act as beaters.
On we went in this order for seven hours. The
pace was so slow that I confess it made me impa-
tient, but our path through the forest was too
narrow and too steep to do more than walk our
horses in single file. The character of the vegeta-
tion visibly changed as we ascended. We left the
oak and beech, and came upon a forest of pine-trees,
and I thought of the lines —
" This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the
The grey moss which hangs in such abundant fes-
toons from the fir-trees has a most singular effect,
almost weird at times. These ancients of the forest,
IN THE FOREST. Ill
with their long grey beards and hoary tresses, look
very solemn indeed in the gloaming.
What unheeded wealth in these majestic trees,
which grow but to decay ! Enormous trunks lay
on every side : some had passed into the rottenness
which gives new life ; and here fungi of bright and
varied hues, grey lichen, and green moss preserved
together the contour of the gigantic stem, which,
prostrate and decayed now, had once held its head
high amongst the lordlings of the forest.
In the last century these woods were tenanted by
wild aurochs and the ibex, but both are extinct
now in Hungary. Red-deer and the roe are still
common enough. " The wild-cat, fox, badger,
otter, marten, and other smaller carnivora are
pretty numerous." Mr Danford 1 goes on to say
that " feathered game is certainly not abundant.
There are a good many capercailzie in the quiet
pine-woods, pretty high up, but they are only to be
got at during the pairing season. Hazel-grouse too
are common in the lower woods, but are not easily
found unless the call-system be adopted. Black
game are scarcely worth mentioning as far as sport
is concerned. Partridges scarce, not preserved,
and the hooded crows and birds of prey making life
1 The Ibis, vol. v., 1875. The Birds of Transylvania. By
Messrs. Danford and Brown.
112 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
rather hard for them." Mr Danford further speaks
of the chamois-eagle as "not rare in the higher
mountains. " The fisher-eagle " generally distri-
buted.'' The king-eagle also "not rare." The
carrion-vulture " common throughout the country,"
also the red-footed falcon. At one time and another
I have myself seen most of these birds in the
Carpathians, which form the frontier between Tran-
sylvania and Eoumania.
Meanwhile I must resume the description of
our march, which was a very slow affair. As
we ascended, the trees decreased in size. We
had long ago left the deciduous foliage behind
us ; but the pines themselves were smaller, inter-
spersed with what is called " crooked timber,"
which grows in grotesque dwarf-like forms. The
forest at last diminished into mere sparse shrubs,
and finally we reached the treeless region, called
in German the Alpen, where there is rich pastur-
age for cattle and sheep during the summer. We
were now on tolerably level ground, and I thought
we should get a trot out of our wretched horses,
but no, not a step faster would they go. I believe
we went at the rate of about two miles and a half
an hour. We tried everything — I mean F
and I— to get the animals to stretch out over the
turf ; but they set to kicking vigorously, backing and
ACROSS THE ALPEN. 113
rearing, so that to avoid giving annoyance to our
companions, we were obliged to give in, and let the
brutes go their own pace.
We had gone but a very little way on the Alpen
before we found ourselves enveloped in a thick mist,
added to which the track itself became uncertain.
We went on : if the saying " slow but sure " has
any truth in it, we ought to have been sure enough.
My horse reminded me of the reply of the Somer-
setshire farmer, who, when he was asked if his
horse was steady, answered, " He be so steady that
if he were a bit steadier he would not go at all."
Notwithstanding that we moved like hay-stacks,
and the cavalcade seemed to be treading on one an-
other's heels, yet, ridiculous to say, we got separated
from our baggage. Darkness set in, and with it a
cold drizzling rain — not an animated storm that
braces your nerves, but a quiet soaking rain, the
sort of thing that takes the starch out of one's moral
All at once I was aroused from my apathy by a
shout from the front calling out to the cavalcade to
halt. I must observe a fellow on foot was leading
the way in quality of guide. A pretty sort of a
guide he turned out to be. He had led us quite
wrong, and in fact found all of a sudden that he
was on the verge of a precipice !
114 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
There was a good deal of unparliamentary language,
expressed in tones both loud and deep. It was an
act of unwisdom, however, to stop there in a heap on
the grassy slope of a precipice, swearing in chorus at
the poor devil of a Wallack. I turned my horse up
the incline, resolved to try back, hoping to regain
the lost track. It was next to impossible to halt,
for we had not even got our plaids with us — every-
thing was with the baggage-horses. Of course " some
one had blundered." We all knew that ! The guide
stuck to it to the last that " he had not exactly lost
his way." The fellow was incapable of a suggestion,
and would have stood there arguing till doomsday
if we had not sent him off with a sharp injunction
to find some shepherds, and that quickly, who
could take us to the rendezvous. Being summer
time, there would be many shepherds about in
different places on the Alpen, and the Wallack
could hardly fail to encounter some herdkeeper
We waited, as agreed, on the same spot nearly an
hour, and then we heard a great shouting to the
right of us. This was the guide, who I believe
must have been born utterly without the organ of
locality. He had found some shepherds, he told us
subsequently, not long after he had left us, but
then the fool of a fellow could not find his way back
THE HUT AT LAST. 115
to us, to the spot where we agreed to wait for him.
There was a great deal of shouting before we could
bring him to our bearings : the fog muffled the sound,
adding to the perplexity.
The shepherds now took us in tow. We had to
go back some distance, and then make a sharp descent
to the right, which brought us to the rendezvous,
and we effected at last a junction with our lost lug-
gage. Arriving at the hut, which had been pre-
viously built for us, we were delighted to find a meal
already prepared ; it was in fact a very elaborate
supper, but I think we were all too exhausted to
appreciate the details. I know I was very glad
to wrap my plaid round me and stretch myself on
The next morning we were up with the first streak
of dawn. It was with some curiosity that I looked
round at our impromptu dwelling and its surround-
ings, upon which we had descended in total ob-
scurity the night before. The position of our camp-
ing-place was not badly chosen ; we were just within
the girdle of forest above which rises the grassy
Alpen. About forty yards to the left or north-east
of us was a small stream, the boundary, it seems,
between the Banat and Transylvania. We were pro-
vided with two necessaries of life, wood and water,
close at hand.
116 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The hut, however, was more picturesque than
practical, as subsequent events proved. The
Wallacks had constructed it by driving two
strong posts into the ground about ten yards
apart. A tree was placed across, with a couple
of smaller supports, and on this was made on
a rough framework a sloping roof to the wind-
ward side. The roofing consisted entirely of leaves :
it is called in German laubhiltte, but is in fact
more of a parasol than an umbrella. I should have
preferred a hut made of bark, such as I have seen
used by shepherds and sportsmen in Styria.
The interior of the hut had a droll appearance.
Bacon, sausages, meal-bags, and various other things
were hanging from pegs fastened into the supports
of the roof ; and the gear belonging to ten sportsmen
were stowed away somehow. The place might have
passed for the head-centre of a band of brigands.
The mountain on which we were encamped forms
part of the western side of a long valley, at the
bottom of which, quite 2000 feet below us, is a
magnificent trout-stream. The sides of this valley
are clothed with dense forests, with broken cliffs
obtruding in places. The height of the Carpathians
in this part of the range must not be taken as a
gauge of the scenery, which quite equals in grandeur
the higher Alps in many parts of Switzerland and
CARPATHIAN SCENERY. 117
the Tyrol. Comparisons are dangerous, for the
lovers of Switzerland will silence me with glaciers
and eternal snow; these advantages I must con-
cede, still contending, however, for the extreme
beauty and wildness of the Southern Carpathians.
The characteristics of the scenery are due to the
broken forms of the crystalline rocks, the singular
occurrence of sharp limestone ridges, and the deep
forest-clad valleys, traversed by mountain torrents,
which everywhere diversify the scene.
Chamois and bear bunting — First battue — Luxurious dinner 5000
feet above the sea-level — Storm in the night — Discomforts —
The bear's supper — The eagle's breakfast — Second and third
day's shooting — Baking a friend as a cure for fever — Striking
camp — View into Koumania.
We started for our first battue in capital time,
taking with us a crowd of Wallack beaters. Our
places were appointed to us by the director of the
hunt, and some of us had a stiffish climb before
reaching the spot indicated. At a right angle to
this valley there protrudes one of those character-
istic limestone ridges ; it terminates in an abrupt
precipice or declivity above the stream. My place
was some half-way up, a good position ; for while
I could see the course of the stream, 1 could com-
mand a fair range of ground above me.
It was impossible not to take note of the
exquisite beauty of the whole scene, particularly
as it then appeared. The sun breaking through
the clouds, threw his sharply-defined rays of light
into the depths of the misty defile, playing upon
THE BATTUE. 119
the foam of the water, and giving life and colour
to the hanging woods. I hardly took it in at the
time, but rather remembered the details afterwards ;
for my thoughts were occupied in trying to judge
the distance up to which I might fire with any
chance of success — distances are always very decep-
tive on the mountains.
I must observe that we hoped to get a shot at
some bears, but the chamois were the legitimate
object of the hunt. The late autumn or early winter
is the best time for bear-hunting.
I had not been long at my post when I heard two
shots in quick succession fired below me. I found a
chamois had been shot.
For our next battue we turned right-about face,
the beaters coming from the other side ; but we had
bad luck. One of our party saw a bear at some dis-
stance, fired, and — missed it. The fact of a bear
having been sighted encouraged us in keeping up
our battues pretty late, but nothing more was shot
that day. It was very disappointing, because if the
bear was thereabouts our numerous staff of beaters
ought to have turned him up again. Some of the
party were altogether sceptical about a bear having
been seen at all. Of course the man who had fired
held to the bear as if it was the first article in his
creed. The dissentients remarked that " believing
120 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
is seeing," as some one cleverly said of spiritualism.
I don't know whether it was better to think you had
missed your bear or had no bear to miss.
When we returned to the hut in the evening we
found that a couple of men left in charge had made
some great improvements. The Wallacks, who are
sharp ready-handed fellows, to do them justice, had
in our absence cut down some trees, split them with
wooden pegs, and constructed out of the rough tim-
ber a long table and a couple of benches. These
were placed in front of our hut ; the supper was
spread, the table being lighted with some four lan-
terns, supplemented by torches of resinous pine-wood.
The weather had been fair, though sport had been
bad, so with a feeling not " altogether sorrow-like "
we sat down to a hearty good meal. One of the
dishes was chamois-liver, which is considered a
great delicacy. We had, indeed, several capital
dishes, well dressed and served hot — a most suc-
cessful feast at 5000 feet above the sea-level. A
vote of thanks was proposed for the cook, and carried
unanimously. The wines were excellent. We had
golden Mediasch, one of the best wines grown in
Transylvania, Eoszamaber from Karlsburg and Bak-
atar. The peculiarity about the first-named wine
is that it produces an agreeable pricking on the
tongue, called in German tschirpsen.
STORM IN THE NIGHT. 121
Before turning in we had a smoke, accompanied
by tea with rum, the invariable substitute for milk
As there were four big fires burning in the clear-
ing outside the hut, the whole scene was very bright
and cheerful. The wood crackled briskly, the flames
lit up the green foliage, and the moving figures
of our attendants gave animation to the picture.
Amongst ourselves there were a few snatches of
song, and from up the hill where the Wallacks were
camped came a chorus of not unmusical voices.
One after another of our party dropped off, betak-
ing himself to his natural rest. I was not the last,
and must have slept as soon as I pulled the plaid
over my ears, for I remembered nothing more.
I daresay I slept two or three hours ; it may have
been more or less, I don't know, but the next
moment of consciousness, or semi-consciousness, was
an uneasy feeling that a thief was trying to carry off
a large tin bath that belonged to me, in my dream.
As he dragged it away it seemed to me that he
bumped it with all his might, making a horrible row.
Meanwhile, oppressed by nightmare, I could not
budge an inch nor utter a cry, though I would have
given the world to stop the thief. I daresay this
nonsense of my dream occupied but an instant of
time. I woke to the consciousness of a loud peal
122 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
of thunder. "We are in for a storm/' thought I,
turning drowsily on my other side, not yet much
awake to the probable consequences.
There was no sleep for me, however. The rest of
the party were, one and all, up and moving about ;
and the noise of the storm also increased — the flashes
of lightning were blinding, and the crash of the
thunder was almost simultaneous. Through the
open side of our hut I could see and hear the
rain descending in torrents ; fortunately it did not
beat in, but it was not long before the wet pene-
trated the roof — that roof of leaves that I had
mentally condemned the day before. After the rain
once came through, the ground was soon soaking.
It was a dismal scene. I sat up with the others,
"the lanterns dimly burning," and occupied myself
for some time contriving gurgoyles at different angles
of my body, but the wet would trickle down my neck.
We made a small fire inside the hut, essaying
thereby to dry some of our things. My socks were
soaking; my boots, I found, had a considerable storage
of water ; the only dry thing was my throat, made
dry by swallowing the wood-smoke. A more com-
plete transformation scene could hardly be imagined
than our present woeful guise compared with the
merriment of the supper-table, where all was song
"BEAR, bear!" 123
A German, who was sitting on the same log
with myself, looking the picture of misery, had been
one of the most jovial songsters of the evening.
" Thousand devils ! " said he, " you could wring
me like a rag. This abominable hut is a sponge —
a mere reservoir of water."
" Oh, well, it is all part of the fun," said I, turning
the water out of my boots, and proceeding to toast
my socks by the fire on the thorns of a twig. " Sup-
pose we sing a song. What shall it be ? — ' The meet-
ing of the waters ' \ "
I had intended a mild joke, but the Teuton re-
lapsed into grim silence.
The storm after a while appeared to be rolling off.
The thunder-claps were not so immediately over our
heads, and the flashes of lightning were less frequent ;
in fact a perfect lull existed for a short space of time,
marking the passage probably to an oppositely elec-
trified zone of the thunder-cloud. During this brief
lull we were startled by hearing all at once a fright-
ful yelling from the quarter where the Wallacks were
camping, a little higher up than our hut.
Amidst the general hullabaloo of dogs barking
and men shouting we at last distinguished the cry
of "Ursa, ursa ! " which is Wallachian for bear.
Our camp became the scene of the most tremendous
excitement ; everybody rushed out, but in the thick
124 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
darkness it was impossible to pursue the bear. The
more experienced sportsmen were not so eager to
sally out after the bear, as they were anxious to
prevent a stampede of the horses. When the latter
were secured as well as circumstances would permit,
a few guns were fired off to warn the bear, and
then there was nothing for it but to watch and wait.
The dogs went on barking for more than an hour,
but otherwise the camp relapsed into stillness. I
spent the remainder of the night sitting on a log
before the fire, smoking my pipe with the bowl
downwards, for the rain had never ceased, and
clouds of steam rose from our camp-fires. The fear
was that the powder would get wet. I must have
dropped off my perch asleep, for I picked myself up
the next morning out of a pool of water. It was
already dawn, and looking eastward I saw a streak
of light beneath a dark curtain of cloud, like the
gleam on the edge of a sword, so sharp and defined
was it. This was hopeful ; it had ceased raining
too, and a brisk wind came up the valley.
There was plenty to be done, in drying our
clothes and preparing breakfast under difficulties.
In the midst of this bustle a Wallack came in to
tell us that the bear had really got into the camp in
the night, and that he had killed and partly eaten
one of the horses. This confirmed the fact that the
SECOND DAY'S SPORT. 125
bear had been sighted by one of our party the day
before ; though we missed him, he had had his
supper, and we were minus a horse.
I followed the Wallaek a few steps up the hill, and
there, not far off, on a knoll to the left, lay the carcass
of the horse. It was a strange sight ! Crowds of
eagles, vultures, and carrion-crows were already feast-
ing on the remains. Every moment almost, fresh
birds came swooping down to their savage breakfast.
Bears do not always eat flesh ; but it seems when
once tasted, they have a liking for it, and cease to
be vegetarians. A simple-minded bear delights in
maize, honey, wild apples and raspberries.
Our guns required a good deal of cleaning before
we were ready to start for the second day's sport.
The result of the battues were not satisfactory.
A fine buck was shot, and two or three chamois
were bagged. We sighted no less than three bears,
but they all broke through the line, and got off into
the lower valleys. The provoking thing was that
the bear or bears came again to our camp the second
night ; but they were able to do no mischief this
time. The horses were kept better together, and the
dogs scared the intruders from close quarters I
imagine. Fires certainly do not frighten the bear in
districts where they get accustomed to the shepherds'
126 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The third day of our shooting the weather was
good, but we had no sport at all. I believe we
should have done better with a different set of
beaters, and this opinion was shared by several of
our party. The Forstmeister had made a mistake
in choosing men from the villages in the plain,
instead of getting some of the hill shepherds, who
know the mountains thoroughly well, and are not
afraid of a bear when they see one. Some of our
beaters were funky, I believe, and gave the bear a
wide berth I feel sure, otherwise we must have had
During the evening of the third day F got
a bad attack of fever, the intermittent fever
common in all the Danubian Provinces. After
supper the rain came on again, not violently, but
enough to make everything very damp. I felt that
under the circumstances the hut was a very bad
place for him, so I cast about to see what I could
do. As good-luck would have it, not very far off
I discovered a horizontal fissure in the cliff, a sort
of wide slit caused by one rock overhanging another
ledge. It was fortunately sheltered from the wind,
and promised to suit my purpose very well.
I collected a pile of sticks and firewood, thrust
them blazing into the cavity, and fed the fire till
the rocks were fit to crack with the heat. T
CURE FOR FEVER. 127
remembered having seen cottagers heat their ovens
in this way in Somersetshire. I now raked out
the fire and all the mortuary remains of insects,
and then laid down a plaid thrice doubled for soft-
ness. Having done this, I seized upon my friend,
weak and prostrate as he was, and shoved him
into his oven like a batch of bread. I had pre-
viously given him a big dose of quinine (without
which medicine I never travel in these parts), and
now I set to work rubbing him, for he was really
very bad indeed. In ten minutes or so F
became warm as a toast. The terrible shivering
was stopped, so my plan of baking was succeeding
capitally. It is true he complained a little of one
shoulder being rather overdone, but that was nothing.
The vigorous rubbing was of great service also. I
remembered the saying, " Whatever is worth doing
at all is worth doing well," so I rubbed my patient
with a will. He objected rather, but he was too
weak to make any resistance, so I rubbed on. I
knew it would do him good in the end ; so it did —
I cured him. I think, however, the cure was mainly
due to the baking !
After I had satisfied myself that my friend was
going on well, I arranged our waterproofs in front
of the opening like curtains; and then I turned
in myself, for there was room for me too in the
128 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
oven. The rain descended pretty heavily in the
night, but we slept well ; and my patient presented
a most creditable appearance in the morning.
On the fourth day some of our party bagged
a few chamois, but the incidents of the day
were in no way remarkable. At night F and
I returned to our cave. The others had dubbed
it the "Hotel d'Angleterre." Considering the ca-
pability we had of warming-up, our quarters were
not half bad.
The succeeding morning it was settled that we
should strike our camp and move on to a fresh
place. The beaters were sent back, for they were
not a bit of good. Some of the party also left,
amongst them my German friend. I do not think
he will ever join a bear - hunt again, and his
departure did not surprise us. After leaving
our late quarters we rode for some hours along
a singular ridge, so narrow at places as to leave
little more than the width of the sheep-track
on the actual summit. This ridge, more or less
precipitous, rises above the zone of forest, and
is covered with short thick grass. We passed, I
should think, thirty flocks of sheep at different
times, attended by the wild-looking Wallacks and
their fierce dogs.
We made a halt in the middle of the day, but the
VIEW OF HOUMANIA. 129
rain was coming down, and we were glad to be soon
In the afternoon we got over into the Eoumanian
side of the frontier. The lofty limestone ridge of
which I have spoken is in fact the boundary-line at
this part. We were at an elevation of about 6000
feet, judging from the heights above us, when
suddenly, or almost suddenly, the clouds were lifted
which hitherto had enveloped us. It was like
drawing up the curtain of a theatre. I never
remember to have seen anything so striking as this
sudden revealing of the fair world at our feet,
bathed in glowing sunlight. We beheld the plains
of Eoumania far away stretched as a map beneath
us ; there, though one cannot discern it, the swift
Aluta joins the Danube opposite Nicopolis ; and
there, within range of the glass, are the white
mosques of Widdin in Bulgaria. We looked right
down into Little Wallachia, where woods, rocks,
and streams are tumbled about pellmell in a
picturesque but unsettled sort of way. The very
locality we were traversing is the part where the
salt-smugglers used to carry on their trade, and
many a sharp encounter has been fought here
between them and the soldiers. This is now a
thing of the past, since Eoumania has also intro-
duced a salt monopoly.
130 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
We were treated to this glorious view for little
more than half an hour ; the clouds then enveloped
us again, and blotted out that fair world, with all
its brightness, as if it were not. A strong wind
blew up from the north, bringing with it a storm
of rain and sleet which chilled us to the bones.
The horses went slower and slower. IncludiDg the
noonday halt, we had been ten hours in the saddle,
and men and horses had had pretty well enough.
I never recollect a colder ride.
"We encamped that night in the forest. I looked
out for another rock oven, and found one not other-
wise unsuitable for shelter ; but unfortunately this
time the opening was to the windward side, so it
was useless for our purpose. It was a good thing
F did not have a return of his fever here, for we
had to pass the night very indifferently.
The next morning the weather continued so
persistently bad in the mountains that we voted
the " hunt " at an end, and made the best of our
way towards Mehadia, from which place we were
in fact not so very distant. The descent was very
rapid ; at first through a thick forest, then into the
open valley, where the heat became intense. The
change of temperature was very striking.
Back at Mehadia — Troubles about a carriage — An unexpected night
on the road — Return to Karansebes— On horseback through
the Iron Gate Pass — Varhely, the ancient capital of Dacia —
Roman remains — Beauty of the Hatszeg Valley.
After a week of such weather as we had had in
the mountains, a water-tight roof over one's head
was in itself a luxury ; so we were not inclined to
quarrel with our quarters at the hotel at Mehadia,
had they been even less good than they were.
F and I wished the next day to get back
to Karansebes ; he had left his carriage, and I my
Servian horse. A Hungarian gentleman, one of the
late expedition, said he would arrange to have a
vorspann, if we would join him, as he also wanted
to go there. This well-understood plan insures to
the traveller relays of horses, and we were only too
glad to acquiesce in the prospect of making the
journey pleasantly and quickly.
The driver who was to take us the first stage
came in and asked for a florin to get some oats for
his horses. Very foolishly I gave him the money,
132 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
nothing doubting; and off he went to spend it on
slivovitz, the result being that he was soon drunk
and incapable. If we had realised the fact at once
it might have been better, but we waited and waited,
not knowing for a long time what had happened.
This upset all our vorspann arrangements, and to
our great disgust the best part of the day was wasted
in seeking another vehicle and horses to take us to
Karansebes. At last we succeeded in obtaining a
lumbering sort of covered conveyance, whose speed
we doubted from the first ; but the owner, who was to
drive us, declared he would get us to our journey's
end in an incredibly short space of time.
We took care to give no pourboire in advance ;
but what with the inevitable dilatoriness of the
people down in these parts, it was after seven
o'clock before we left the Hercules-Bad, and we had
fifty miles to drive.
Not even the ten hours of undisturbed consecutive
repose in the downy bed at the Mehadia hotel had
made up the deficiency of sleep during the foregoing
week, and drowsiness overcame us. I think we
must have had a couple of hours of monotonous
jog-trot on the fairly level road when I fell asleep,
and I suppose my companions did the same.
I must have slept long and profoundly, for when
I woke, pulling myself together with some difficulty,
ASLEEP m THE VORSPANN. 133
having slept in the form of a doubled-up zigzag, I
found it was daylight. I was surprised that we
were not moving; I rubbed my eyes, and looked
out at the back of the cart, and there I saw a round
tower on a slight eminence, encircled by a belt of
fir-wood, the very counterpart of a pretty bit of
scenery I had noticed in the twilight. I looked
again, and sure enough it was just the tower itself
and no other, and the very same belt of wood. The
explanation was not far to seek. I was the first to
wake up in our "fast coach/' Every mortal soul — and
there were five of us, besides the four horses — had, it
seems, gone to sleep much about the same time that
I did. The magic sleep of eld must have fallen upon
us. The simple fact was, we had passed the night in
the middle of the highroad. Was there ever anything
so ridiculous 1
We were about seven miles from Mehadia ; I
knew the country perfectly well. Of course we made
a confounded row with the idiot of a driver, who
certainly had been hired — not to go to sleep. I
have known these Wallacks drive for miles in a
state of somnolency, the horses generally keeping in
the " safe middle course " of their own accord. As
there were some awkward turns not far ahead of us,
it was perhaps just as well that the horses stopped
on this occasion.
134 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Well, we jogged on all that day, reaching Karan-
sebes between one and two o'clock. We had been
some eighteen hours on the road !
Here F and I parted, my friend returning to
Uibanya, while I pursued my way to Transylvania.
I slept the night at Karansebes, rising very early;
indeed I started soon after four o'clock. I was
again on my little Servian horse, who was quite
fresh after his long rest, and I saw no reason why
I should not reach Hatszeg the same evening, as
the distance is not more than forty-five miles.
About two miles from Karansebes I passed a hill
crowned with a picturesque ruin, locally called
Ovid's Tower. Tradition fondly believes that Ovid
spent the last years of his banishment, not on the
shores of the stormy Euxine, but in the tranquillity
of these lovely valleys. Certain it is that the name
and fame of many of the great Eomans are still
known to the Wallacks ; and the story is told by Mr
Boner, that they have a catechism which teaches the
children to say that they have Ovid and Virgil for
their ancestors, and that they are descended from
On my way I passed the villages of Ohaba, Marga,
and Bukova. On arriving at Varhely, or Gradischtie,
as it is called in Wallack language, I found that it
was worth while to stay the night, for the sake of
OLD DACTAN CAPITAL. 135
having the afternoon to examine the Roman remains
scattered about the neighbourhood.
The Wallack villages I had passed through were
very miserable -looking places : they are generally in
the south of Transylvania. The houses are mostly
mere wattled wigwams, without chimneys ; a patch
of garden, rudely hurdled in, with the addition of a
high stockaded enclosure for cattle. Some of the
women are extremely pretty, and, as I have said
before, the costume can be very picturesque ; but
they are often seen extremely dirty, in which case
the filthy fringe garment gives them the appearance
Varhely is conspicuous for its dirt even among
Wallachian villages, yet once it was a royal town.
It is built on the site of the famous Sarmisegethusa,
the capital of ancient Dacia. In Trajan's second ex-
pedition against Decebalus, King of the Dacians, he
came from Orsova on the Danube by the same route
that forms the highroad of this day — the same I had
traversed in my way hither. It is curious to reflect
how nation succeeding nation tread in each other's
footsteps, through the self-same valley, beneath the
shadow of the old hills. Here they have trudged,
old Dacian gold-seekers, returning from the daily
labours of washing the auriferous sands of the moun-
tain streams ; here, too, have tramped victorious
136 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Eoman soldiers — Avars, Tartars, Turks, and other
intruders. A long and motley cavalcade has history
marshalled along this route for two thousand years
and more !
The old Dacians were strong enough we know to
exact a yearly tribute from Domitian : it was for this
insult that Trajan marched upon Dacia, defeating
Decebalus at Klausenburg, in the heart of Transyl-
vania, which was at the time their greatest strong-
hold. It was after this that the Dacian king re-
treated upon Sarmisegethusa, and there Trajan came
down upon them through the Iron Gate Pass. Un-
able to defend themselves, the Dacians set fire to
their royal city and fled to the mountains. On
these ruins the Romans, ever ready to appropriate a
good site, erected the city of Ulpia Trajana, connect-
ing it by good roads with the existing Roman
colonies at Karlsburg and Klausenburg.
Unless the traveller had brought historic facts
with him to Gradischtie, he would hardly be induced
to search for tesselated pavements and relics of
royalty amongst the piggeries of this dirty Wallack
village. It is a literal fact that a very fine speci-
men of Roman pavement exists here in an un-
savoury outhouse, not unknown to pigs and their
This Hatszeg Valley, in the county of Hunyad, has
ROMAN ANTIQUITIES. 137
long been celebrated for the richness of its Dacian
and Eoman antiquities. These treasures have un-
fortunately been dispersed about amongst various
general collections of antiquity, instead of being well
kept together as illustrative of local facts and
history. The archaeologist must seek for these
remains specially in the Ambras collection of the
Archaeological Museum at Vienna, the National
Museum at Buda Pest, in the Bruckenthal Museum
at Herrmannstadt, also in the Klausenburg Museum.
Dr H. Finaly, Professor of Archaeology at the Uni-
versity of Klausenburg, is the great living authority
on this interesting subject. To him I am indebted
for some information, conveyed in a letter to a
private friend. 1 The professor alludes to the fact
of the treasures being all carried away, adding that
on the spot very little is to be found except the
remains of Eoman encampments (castra stativa),
Eoman military roads, together with the founda-
tions of buildings, the materials of which however
are usually carried away by the peasants. Nor are the
records of former interesting discoveries to be found
in one volume, but are dispersed about in the various
publications of learned societies, such as the ' Archae-
logiaei Kozlemenyek' of the Hungarian Academy,
the ' Year-Book of the Transylvanian Museum/ and
1 Martin Diosy, Esq.
138 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
' Verhandlungen mid Mittheilungen' of the Yerein fur
Siebenbiirgische Landeskunde of Herrmannstadt.
That the materials of the old Konian buildings
are now used for baser purposes, one has abundant
proof; even in my hurried inspection I saw many
a sculptured stone and fragment of fluted column
doing duty as the support of a wretched Wallack
shanty. Another evidence of the Eoman occupation
of the country occurs in the case of certain plants
now found growing wild, which are exotic to the
soil. This, I am told, occurs in a marked manner at
Thorda, which was known to be a Eoman colony.
The plants, it may be presumed, were brought
thither by the Eoman legionaries. The most pic-
turesque bit of Eoman antiquity is the Temple
at Demsus, within a short drive of Varhely. It is
on a small eminence overlooking a cluster of Wal-
lack dwellings, and has long been used as a church
by these people.
The Hatszeg Valley, which comprehends the district
I am now describing, is the pride of Transylvania,
not less for its fertility than for its beauty. It has
the appearance of having been filled in former geo-
logical ages by the waters of a widespread lake.
It was a lovely afternoon, but very hot, when I
rode into the little town of Hatszeg. Everywhere is
to be seen evidence of the careful cultivation of the
TRANSYLVANIAN RAILWAYS. 139
maize and other crops. Numerous villages dot the
plain and cluster amidst the thickly-wooded hillsides.
And now we come upon the railway system again,
which has stretched out its feelers into the wilds
of the Southern Carpathians. The railroad enters
Transylvania by two routes.. The main line is from
Buda-Pest to Grosswardein, and so on by Klausen-
burg — the Magyar capital — to the present terminus
of Kronstadt, one of the chief towns of the Saxon
immigrants. This includes a branch to Maros Ya-
sarhely. It is proposed to carry this line over a pass
in the Carpathians to Bucharest. The second line
of railway entering Transylvania starts from Arad,
and terminates at Herrmannstadt, the Saxon capital,
having a branch to the mineral district of Petroseny.
It will be seen from the above that this " odd
corner of Europe/' as Transylvania has been called,
is fairly well off for iron roads ; and considering
how short a time some portions of them have been
opened, they have already borne good fruit in
developing the resources of the country.
Hungarian hospitality — Wallack laziness — Fishing — " Settled gipsies"
— Anecdote — Old regime — Fire — Old Roman bath — The avifauna
of Transylvania — Fly-fishing.
I had brought with me from London a letter of in-
troduction to a Hungarian gentleman residing near
Hatszeg, and finding his place was not far off, I rode
over to see him the evening of my arrival.
I had merely intended to make a call, but Herr
von B , with true Hungarian hospitality, insisted
that I should stay at his house as long as I remained
in the neighbourhood.
" What ! allow a stranger to remain at the inn ?
— impossible ! " he said with resolute kindness.
It was in vain that I made any attempt to plead
that I felt it was trespassing too much on his hospi-
tality. His answer was very decided. He put the
key of the stable which held my horse in his pocket,
and turning to one of his people he gave orders that
my things should be brought hither from the Hatszeg
HUNGARIAN HOSPITALITY. 141
I was soon quite at home with my new friends, a
young married couple, whose menage, though very
simple, was thoroughly refined and agreeable. As
it was my first visit to a Hungarian house, I found
many things to interest me. Several of the dishes at
table were novelties, the variety consisting more in
the cooking than in the materials ; for instance, we
had maize dressed in a dozen different ways. It was
generally eaten as a sort of pudding at breakfast, at
which meal there was also an unfailing dish of water-
melons. Of course we had paprika handl (chicken
with red pepper), and gulyas, a sort of improved
Irish stew ; and gipsy's meat, also very good, besides
excellent soups and many nameless delicacies in the
way of sweets.
All Hungarian men are great smokers, but as a
rule the ladies do not smoke ; there are some excep-
tions, but it is considered " fast " to do so.
The peasants in the Hatszeg Valley are all
Wallacks, and as lazy a set as can well be
imagined ; in fact, judging by their homes, they are
in a lower condition than those of the Banat. So
much is laziness the normal state with these people
that I think they must regard hard work as a sort
of recreation. Their wants are so limited that there
is no inducement to work for gain. What have
they to work for beyond the necessary quantity of
142 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
maize, slivovitz, and tobacco % Their women make
nearly all the clothes. Wages of course are high —
that is the trouble throughout the country. If the
Wallack could be raised out of the moral swamp of
his present existence he might do something, but he
must first feel the need of what civilisation has to
The village of Kea, where I was staying, is about
the wildest-looking place one can well imagine in
Europe. The habitations of the peasants are made
of reed and straw ; the hay-ricks are mere slovenly
heaps, partially thatched ; the fences are made up
of odds and ends. As for order, the whole place
might have been strewn with the debris of a whirl-
wind and not have looked worse. As a natural
consequence of all this slatternly disorder, fire is
no uncommon occurrence ; and when a fire begins,
it seldom stops till it has licked the whole place
clean — a condition not attainable by any other
Fishing was a very favourite amusement with
us, and Herr von B several times organised
some pleasant excursions with that obj ect. ' One day
we went up the Lepusnik, a magnificent trout-
"We drove across the valley, and then followed a
narrow gorge near the village of Klopotiva. The
GIPSY CAMP. 143
scenery was enchanting, but our fishing was only
moderately successful ; for the trout were very much
larger than in the valley nearer home, and they
bothered us sadly by carrying away our lines.
Some way up the valley we came upon a little
colony of gipsies, who were settled there. Their
dwellings were more primitive than the Wallacks
even. The huts are formed of plaited sticks, with
mud plastered into the interstices ; this earth in
time becomes overgrown with grass, and as the
erection is only some seven feet high, it has very
much the appearance of an exaggerated mound
or anthill, and would never suggest a human
A fire was burning in the open, with a tripod to
support the iron pot — just as we see in England in
a gipsy's camp ; and the people had a remarkable
resemblance in complexion and feature, only that
here they were far less civilised than with us.
I entered one of the huts, in which by the way I
could scarcely stand upright, and found there a man
employed in making a variety of simple wooden
articles for household use. The gipsies are remark-
ably clever with their hands; many of these wooden
utensils are fashioned very dexterously, and even
display some taste. The gipsy, moreover, is always
the best blacksmith in all the country round ; and
144 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
as for their music, I have before spoken of the
strange power these people possess of stirring the
hearts of their hearers with their pathetic strains.
It has often seemed to me that this marvellous gift
of music is, as it were, a language brought with
them in their exile from another and a higher state
That these poor outcasts are capable of noble self-
sacrifice, the story I am about to relate will testify.
Not far from this very gipsy settlement, in a wild
romantic glen, is a steep overhanging rock, which
is known throughout the country as the " Gipsy's
Kock," and came to be so called from the following
tragical occurrence. It seems that many years ago
— about the middle of the last century, I believe —
there was a famine in the land, and the poor gip-
sies, poorer than all the rest, were reduced to great
straits. Some of them came to the neighbouring
village and begged hard for food. The selfish
people turned them away, or at least tried to do
so ; but one poor fellow would not cease his
importunities, and said that his children were
literally starving. " Then," said one of the vil-
lagers in a mocking tone, " I will give your family
a side of bacon if you will jump that rock."
" You hear his promise ? " cried the gipsy,
appealing to the idle crowd. He said not another
(( mrr^ rtT ^^'
THE GIPSY S ROCK. 145
word, but rushing from their midst, clambered up
the rock, and in another instant took the fatal
I see no reason to discredit the story, generally
believed as it is in the district ; and, happily for the
honour of human nature, it has many a parallel, in
another way perhaps, but equal in self-sacrifice and
The gipsies in Hungary are supposed to number
at least 150,000. The Czigany, as they are called,
made their appearance early in the fifteenth cen-
tury, having fled, it is believed, from the cruelty of
the Mongol rulers. They were allowed by King
Sigismund to settle in Hungary, and were called
in law the " new peasants." Before the reforms
of 1848 they were in a state of absolute serfdom,
and could not legally take service away from the
place where they were born. The case of the
gipsy was the only instance in Hungary, even
in the Hungary of the old regime, of absolute
serfdom ; for oppressive as were the obligations
of the land - holding peasant to his lord, yet
the relation between them was never that of
master and slave. As a matter of fact, if the
Hungarian peasant gave up his session — that
is to say, the land he occupied in hereditary
use — he was free to go wheresoever he pleased,
146 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
and was not forced to serve any master. In
practice the serf would not readily relinquish the
means of subsistence for himself and family, and
generally preferred the burden, odious though it
was, of the robot, or forced labour. This personal
liberty, which the Hungarian peasant in the worst
of times has preserved, is deep-rooted in the
growth of the nation, and accounts for their char-
acteristic love of freedom in the present day. It
was this that made the freedom-loving peasant
detest the military conscription imposed by the
Austrians in 1849, an innovation the more obnoxi-
ous because enforced with every species of official
The poor Czigany had not been so fortunate as
to preserve even the Hungarian serfs modicum of
liberty. Mr Paget mentions that forty years ago
he saw gipsies exposed for sale in the neighbouring
province of Wallachia.
There are a great many " settled gipsies " in
Transylvania. Of course they are legally free, but
they attach themselves peculiarly to the Magyars,
from a profound respect they have for everything
that is aristocratic ; and in Transylvania the name
Magyar holds almost as a distinctive term for class
as well as race. The gipsies do not assimilate with
the thrifty Saxon, but prefer to be hangers-on at
the castle of the Hungarian noble : they call them-
selves by his name, and profess to hold the same
faith, be it Catholic or Protestant. Notwithstanding
that, the gipsy has an incurable habit of pilfering
here as elsewhere ; yet they can be trusted as
messengers and carriers — indeed I do not know
what people would do without them, for they are
as good as a general " parcels-delivery company "
any day ; and certainly they are ubiquitous, for never
is a door left unlocked but a gipsy will steal in, to
The gipsy is sometimes accused of having a hand
in incendiary fires ; but I believe the general tes-
timony is in his favour, and against the Wallack,
whose love of revenge is the ugliest feature in his
character. These people seem to forget the saying
that " curses, like chickens, come home to roost," for
they will set fire to places under circumstances that
not unfrequently involve themselves in ruin.
We were calmly sitting one day at dinner when
we heard a great row all at once ; looking out of
the window, we saw dense clouds of smoke and
flame not a hundred yards from the house. We
rushed out immediately to render assistance, but
without water or engines of any kind it was difficult
to do much. However, Herr von B and myself
got on the top of the outhouse that was in flames,
148 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
and stripped off the wooden tiles, removing out of
the way everything that was likely to feed the fire.
There stood close by a crowd of Wallacks, utterly
panic-stricken it seemed: they did nothing but
scream and howl as if possessed. The building
belonged to one of them, but he only screamed
louder than the rest, and was not a bit of use,
though he was repeatedly called on to help. If
the wind had set the other way, it would have
been just a chance if the whole village had not been
burned down. In this instance the fire was caused
by mere carelessness.
The number of excursions to be made in the
Hatszeg Valley is endless. On one occasion I took
my horse and rode off alone to inspect mines and
mining works in the mountains. While looking
over the ironworks at Kalan, I was told of the
existence of some Eoman remains in the neighbour-
hood, so taking a boy from the works with me to
act as guide, I set off, walking, to examine the spot.
He led me into the middle of a field, not far off
the main road ; and here I found the remains of a
Roman bath of a very interesting character.
It was singularly constructed. I must observe
first that there was a protruding mass of rock
rising about fifteen feet above the surrounding
ground, and of considerable circumference. In the
ROMAN BATH. 149
middle of this there was a circular excavation ten
feet in diameter and ten feet deep. At the bottom
I discovered a spring of tepid mineral water, which
flowed away through a small section cut perpen-
dicularly out of the wall of the great bath; judging
from other incisions in the stone, a wooden slide
may have been used to bay back the water. On the
face of the rock I noticed a Roman inscription, but
too much mutilated for me to make anything of it.
An attempt had been evidently made to utilise
this mineral water, for in the field were some
primitive wooden bathing-houses, and not far off
there was actually a little inn, but I fear the
public had not encouraged the revival of the
In poking about after game or minerals, one
frequently comes upon evidence of the former
occupation of the country. Speaking of game,
the partridges are not preserved, and they are
scarce ; of course I was too early, but in autumn
the woodcock-shooting, I understand, is first-rate.
Quails and snipes are also common in the Hatszeg
Herr von Adam Buda, or, as one should say in
Hungarian, Buda Adam (for the Christian name
always comes last), has devoted much time to
the avifauna of Transylvania. He has a fine
150 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
collection of stuffed birds at his residence at Kea,
near Hatszeg. These are birds which he has
himself shot, and he is quite the local authority
upon the subject.
I have alluded to the trout-fishing in the district.
I went out frequently, and had generally very fair
sport indeed. Mr Danford, in his paper in 'The
Ibis/ 1 in speaking of fishing, says: "Perhaps the
best stream in the country is the Sebes, which
joins the Strell near Hatszeg. The trout are not bad,
one to two lbs. in weight ; and the grayling-fishing
is really good — almost any number may be taken in
autumn, when weather and water are in good order.
The Sil also, near Petroseny, is a fine-looking river,
and used to be celebrated for its so-called ' salmon-
trout ; ' but these had quite disappeared when we
saw it, having * been blown up with dynamite, a
method of fishing very commonly practised in
the country, but now forbidden by law. Indeed
fly-fishing is gaining ground, and English tackle
in great demand."
This practice of the wholesale destruction of fish
by the use of dynamite has not been stopped a
moment too soon ; and some time must now elapse
in certain waters before they can become properly
1 Vol. v., The Birds of Transylvania.
ADIEU TO HATSZEG. 151
It was now time for me to quit the happy valley,
and I bade adieu to my kind friends near Hatszeg.
I believe if I had remained to this day, I should
not have outstayed my welcome. I had come to
pay a morning visit, and I stopped on more than a
The Hungarian has a particularly pleasant way of
greeting a stranger under his own roof. He gives
you the idea that he has been expecting you,
though in reality your existence and name were
unknown to him till he read the letter or the
visiting-card with which you have just presented
I now sent my portmanteau, &c, on to Herrmann-
stadt, packed my saddle-bags to take with me, and
once more rode off into the wilds. My destination
this time was Petroseny.
On horseback to Petroseny — A new town — Valuable coal-fields-
Killing fish with dynamite and poison — Singular manner of
repairing roads — Hungarian patriotism — Story of Hunyadi Janos
— Intrusion of the Moslems into Europe.
The history of the town of Petroseny is as short as
that of some of the western cities of America. It
began life in 1868, and is now the terminus of a
Before the wicked days of dynamite, and as long
ago as the year 1834, a fisherman was leisurely
catching salmon-trout up the Sil; he had time to
look about him, and he noticed that in many places
the rocks had a black appearance. He broke off
some pieces and carried them home, when he found
that they burned like coal ; in fact he had discovered
a coal mine ! Those were simple-minded days, for
instead of running off with these valuable cinders
under his arm, fixing on an influential chairman
and a board of directors for his new company,
this good man did nothing but talk occasionally
of the black rock that he had seen when fishing.
PETIIOSENY COAL-FIELDS. 153
Many years elapsed before any advantage was
taken of this valuable discovery. At length a more
careful search was made, and it proved that coal
existed there in abundance! In 1867 mining was
commenced on a large scale by the Kronstader
Company. The next year a town was already
growing up in the neighbourhood of the mines,
and increased in a most surprising manuer. In
1870 the railway was opened from Petroseny to
Piski, on the main line from Arad. The growth of
the place, however, received a check in the finan-
cial crisis of 1873.
The town itself is in no way remarkable, being a
mere collection of dwellings for the accommodation
of the miners and the employes ; but the scenery in
the neighbourhood is simply magnificent. In ap-
proaching Petroseny the railway rises one foot in
forty, no inconsiderable gradient.
The coal-fields are partly in the hands of Govern-
ment, and partly owned by the before-named Kron-
stader Company. Between these separate interests
there is not much accord. The Kronstaders say that
Government has not behaved fairly or openly, but
has secured to itself so many " claims " as to damage
considerably the prospects of the private speculators.
While at Petroseny, I heard great complaints
against the Government for selling coal at such a
154 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
low price that they must actually work at a loss.
The Kronstader Verein say they are prevented in
this way from making their fair profits, as they are
obliged to sell down to the others. It would appear
to be a suicidal policy for the pockets of the tax-
payers to be mulcted for the sake of securing a pro-
spective monopoly and the ruin of a private enter-
prise. As it stands it is a pretty quarrel.
Writing in 1862, Professor Ansted says: "The
coal of Hungary is of almost all geological ages, and
though none is first-rate in point of quality, a large
proportion is excellent fuel. The coals most valued
at the present moment in Hungary are those of
the Secondary and not of the Palaeozoic period.
But the great body of coal is very much newer ;
it is Tertiary, and till lately was regarded as of
comparatively modern date. In the Ysil Valley
there is a splendid deposit of true coal." 1 Since
the time when the above was written the resources
of the Ysil or Sil Valley — viz., Petroseny — have
been abundantly developed, as we see, and it has
been pronounced to be " one of the finest coal mines
in Europe." One of the seams of coal is ninety feet
in thickness ; but up to the present time it has been
found impossible to make it into coke.
The miners at Petroseny are great offenders in
1 A Short Trip in Hungary and Transylvania, p. 242.
STATUTE LABOUR ON THE ROADS. 155
regard to the abominable practice of killing fish by
means of dynamite. It is very well to say that the
law forbids it; but the administrators of the law are
not always a terror to evil-doers, and perhaps the
timely present of a dish of fine trout does not sharpen
the energies of the officials. Another mode of de-
stroying fish is practised by the Wallacks. There
grows in this locality a poisonous plant, of which
they make a decoction and throw it into the river,
thereby killing great numbers of fish at a time.
While driving round Petroseny I had an oppor-
tunity of seeing the Hungarian manner of making
roads. The peasants have to work on the roads a
certain number of days in the year, and if they pos-
sess a pair of oxen, these must also be brought for a
specified time. An inspector is supposed to watch
over them. One afternoon we came upon a score
of peasants, men and women, who were engaged in
mending a bridge. Their proceedings were just
an instance of how " not to do a thing." They were
placing trees across the gap, and the interstices they
were filling up with leafy branches, over which was
thrown a quantity of loose earth and stones well
patted down to give the appearance of a substantial
and even surface. Of course the first rain would
wash away the earth and leave as nice a hole as
you could wish your enemy to put his foot into. For
156 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
all purposes of traffic the bridge was safer with the
honest gap yawning in the traveller s face.
It is said that the magistrates make matters easy
and convenient for the peasants, if the latter, by being
let off public work, attend gratuitously to the more
pressing wants of the individual magistrate.
" You see, nobody suffers but the Government,"
says the man of easy conscience, not seeing that, after
all, the good condition of the roads concerns them-
selves more than the officials in the capital.
In many things the Hungarians are like children,
and they have not yet grown out of the idea that it
is patriotic to be unruly. The fact is, the Central
Government was so long in the hands of the Vienna
Cabinet, who were obnoxious in the highest degree
to the Hungarians, that the latter cannot get the
habit of antagonism out of their minds, though the
reconciliation carried through by Deak in 1867 en-
tirely restored self-government to Hungary. " What
do we want with money ? " said a gentleman of the
old school. " Money is only useful for paying
taxes, and if we have not got it for that purpose,
never mind ! "
On leaving Petroseny the route I proposed to my-
self was to take the bridle-path over the mountains to
Herrmannstadt. But in following this out, I omitted
to visit the Castle of Hunyad — a great mistake, for
JOHN HUNYADT. 157
castles are rare in this part of Europe, and the
romantic and singular position of Schloss Hunyad
renders it quite unique in a way. It is situated, I
am told, on a lofty spur of rock, washed on three
sides by two rivers which unite at its base, a draw-
bridge connecting the building with a fortified
eminence high above the stream.
The place is associated with the name of Hungary's
greatest hero, John Hunyadi, who was born near by,
and who subsequently built the castle. The story of
his birth, which took place somewhere about 1400,
is romantic enough. His mother was said to be a
beautiful Wallack girl called Elizabeth Marsinai, who
was beloved by King Sigismund. When he left her
he gave her his signet ring, which she was to bring
to him in Buda if she gave birth to a son.
Showing all proper respect to the wishes of its
parents, a child of the " male persuasion " made its
appearance in due course of time ; and the joyful
mother, accompanied by her brother, set off walking
to Buda, with the small boy and the ring for
credentials. When resting by the way in a forest
the child began playing with the ring, and a jack-
daw, who in all ancient story has a weakness for this
sort of ornament, pounced upon the shining jewel and
carried it off to a tree. The brother with commend-
able quickness took up his bow and shot the bird ;
158 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
thus the ring was recovered, and the story duly
related to the king, who evolved out of the incident
a prophetic omen of the boy's future greatness.
His majesty had the child brought up at the Court,
and bestowed upon him the town of Hunyad and
sixty surrounding villages.
It was in the reign of Sigismund that the
Turks first regularly invaded Hungary ; and the
young Hunyadi soon distinguished himself by a
series of victories over the Moslems. To him
Europe is indebted for the check he gave the
Turks. He forced them to relinquish Servia
and Bosnia, and in his time both provinces were
placed under the vassalage of Hungary. We may
go further and say that had Hunyadi's plans for
hurling back the Moslem invaders been seconded
by the other Christian powers, we should not have
the Eastern Question upon our hands in this our
day. But, alas ! all the solicitations of this great
patriot were met with short-sighted indifference by
the Courts of Europe. It is true that the Diet of
Eatisbon, summoned by the Emperor Frederick,
voted 10,000 men-at-arms and 30,000 infantry to
assist in repelling the Turks ; and it is true that the
Pope in those days was anti-Turkish, and vowed on
the Gospels to use every effort, even to the shedding
of his blood, to recover Constantinople from the
MATTHIAS CORVINUS. 159
infidels. The old chronicles give a curious account
of the monk Capestrano, who, bearing the cross that
the Pope had blessed, traversed Hungary, Tran-
sylvania, and Wallachia, to rouse the people to the
danger that threatened them from the intrusion of
the Moslem into Europe. Special church services
were instituted ; and at noon the " Turks' bell " was
daily sounded in every parish throughout these
border-lands, when prayers were offered up to arrest
the progress of the common enemy of Christendom.
Hunyadi's son, Matthias Corvinus, rivalled his
father as a champion against the Turks. He was
elected King of Hungary, and after reigning forty -
two years, passed away ; and the people still say,
" King Matthias is dead, and justice with him."
Hunting for a guide — School statistics — Old times — Over the moun-
tains to Herrmannstadt — Night in the open — Nearly setting
the forest on tire — Orlat.
I found some difficulty while at Petroseny in
getting a guide to convoy me over the mountains
to Orlat, near Herrmannstadt. My Hungarian
friend proposed that, choosing a saint's day, we
should ride over to the neighbouring village of
Petrilla, where I would certainly find some peasant
able and willing amongst the numbers who crowd
into the village on these occasions.
Accordingly we went over, and I was very
pleased I had gone, for the rural gathering was a
very pretty and characteristic sight. The people
from all the country round were collected together
in the churchyard, dressed of course in their
bravery, and a very goodly show they made. They
were the finest Wallacks I had seen anywhere ; they
were superior looking in physique, and many of them
must really have been well off, if one may judge
a man s wealth by the richness of the wife's dress.
Some of the young girls were very pretty, and wore
their silver-coin decorations with quite a fashionable
coquettish air. The Wallack women, whether
walking or standing, never have the spindle out of
their hands : the attitude is very graceful, added
to which the thread must be held daintily in the
fingers. They are very industrious, making nearly
all the articles of clothing for the family.
After a great deal of palavering — I think we
must have spoken to every able-bodied man in the
churchyard — I at last induced a young Wallach-
ian to say he would accompany me. He spoke a
little German, which was a great advantage. I told
him to procure himself a good horse, and to take
care that all his arrangements were completed before
night, as I wished to start very early the following
To this he replied that it would be quite necessary
to start early, and begged to know if five o'clock
would be too soon ; adding that as I must pass
through Petrilla, would I meet him at the corner of
the churchyard \
To this I agreed, repeating that we were to meet
not a moment later than five o'clock. My friend
and I returned to Petroseuy, and the afternoon was
occupied in making preparations for two days on
the mountains. I supplied myself with a good
162 BOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
amount of sliqovitz, as a medium of exchange for
milk and cheese with the shepherds, who under-
stand this kind of barter much better than any
The next day, when it came, brought a con-
tinuance of good weather, and I was up betimes,
looking forward with pleasure to the mountain ride.
I reached Petrilla a few minutes after five o'clock;
but my man was not at the churchyard corner,
whereupon I rode all round the churchyard, think-
ing he might by mistake have pitched on some odd
corner, and be out of sight under the trees. How-
ever, I looked in vain — a man on horseback is not
hidden like a lizard between two stones ! Verily he
was not there.
I waited half an hour all to no purpose. I now
resolved to try and find out where he lived. I
had understood that he belonged to the village.
After a great deal of trouble and bother, and poking
of my nose into various interiors where the families
were still en deshabille, I unearthed my guide. He
coolly said that he was waiting for the horse, which
was to be brought to him by some other lazy fellow
not yet up.
I could not speak Wallachian, and he pretended
not to understand a word of my wrathful tirade in
German, which was all nonsense, because I found
WALLACK DILATORINESS. 1G3
later that he spoke that language fairly well. I
insisted that he should come with me to find the
horse, and so he did at last, in a dilatory sort of
way, and then it turned out that the animal was
waiting at the other end of the village for his rider.
Well, thought I, we shall start now; but no, there
were two to that bargain. The Wallack calmly
informed me that he must return to his hut, for he
had not breakfasted. Not to lose sight of him, I
returned too. He then with Oriental deliberation
set about making a fire, and proceeded to cook his
polenta of maize. I had got hungry again by this
time, though I had breakfasted at Petroseny before
starting, so I partook of some of his mess, which
was exceedingly good, much better than oatmeal
In consequence of all these delays it was after
eight o'clock before we really started. The horse
which my guide had procured for himself was a
wretched animal — a tantalising object for vultures
and carrion-crows — instead of being a good strong
horse, as I had stipulated he should be ; but there
was no help for it now, so on we went.
My companion soon gave me to understand in
good German that he was a superior sort of fellow.
He had been to school at Hatszeg, and knew a thing
or two. I have heard it stated that the Wallacks
164 KOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
are so quick that they make great and rapid progress
at first, distancing the German children ; but that
they seem to stop after a while, and even fall back
into ignorance and their old slovenly ways of life.
On referring to the statistics of Messrs Keleti and
Beothy, I see that only eleven per cent of Eoumains
(Wallacks) attend the primary schools, and this per-
centage had not increased between the years 1867
and 1874. The percentage of the Magyars attend-
ing the primary schools is forty-nine per cent,
while the Slavs, again, are twenty-one.
" The world is only saved by the breath of the
school-children, " says the Talmud. A conviction
of this truth makes every inquiry into educational
progress extremely interesting. According to M.
Keleti's tables, fifty-three per cent of the males and
sixty-two per cent of the females in Hungary
generally are still illiterates. This excludes from
the calculation children under six years of age. On
comparing notes, other countries do not come out
so very much better. It is calculated that 30 per
cent of French conscripts are unable to read ; more-
over, in our " returns " of marriages in England in
1845, a percentage of forty-one signed the register
with marks. In 1874 the number of illiterates was
reduced to twenty-one per cent.
I elicited a good many interesting facts from my
IGNORANCE OF THE PRIESTHOOD. 1G5
Wallack guide, several that were confirmatory of the
terrible ignorance existing amongst the priesthood
of the Greek Church. The popes do not commend
themselves to the good opinion of the male part of
the community, whatever hold they may have on
the superstition of the women. I cannot see my-
self how things are to be mended till the position
and education of the priesthood are improved. It
is said that, in the old days before '48, when the
peasants had to render forced labour to the lord
of the land, the Transylvanian nobles would have
the village pope up to the castle, and keep him
there for a fortnight in a state of intoxication, thus
preventing his giving out the saints' days at the
altar on Sunday. This was done that their own
harvest- work should proceed without the incon-
venience of suspending operations at a critical time
on fete days, the people themselves being too igno-
rant to consult the calendar!
The Magyar nobles are improved, and do not
play these pranks now ; but very little progress, I
imagine, has been made on the side of the priests.
Chatting with my Wallack guide helped to beguile
the tedious nature of the ride, an ascent over
roughish ground all the way. Arriving at the
summit, we made a noonday halt.
A fire was soon burning, whereat our dinner of
166 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
robber-steak was roasted ; but the halt was shorter
than usual, for I was anxious to push on, remem-
bering how much time had been lost at starting.
We now gained the other side of the mountain-
chain, passing the remains of an old Turkish camp,
the outlines of which were quite visible. From this
point there is a magnificent view, interminable
forests to the eastward clothing the deep ravines
that score the hillsides. The accidents of light and
shade were particularly happy on this occasion,
bringing out various details in the picture in a
very striking manner. As a general rule, there is no
time so unpropitious for scenic effect as noonday.
We passed from the grassy Alpen down into the
thick of the forest, losing very soon any glimpse
of the distant view, or any help from conspicuous
landmarks. It was a labyrinth of trees, with tracks
crossing each other in a most perplexing manner.
I could not have got on without a guide.
When the evening approached I thought it was
time to look out for quarters for the night. Our
first necessity was water, but we went on and on
without coming upon a stream. It was provoking,
for we had passed so many springs and rivulets
earlier in the day, and now darkness threatened to
wrap us round with the mantle of night before we
had arranged our bivouac. When the sun sets in
A BIVOUAC. 1G7
the East, it is like turning off the gas ; you are left
in darkness suddenly, without any intervening twi-
light. As a fact one knows this perfectly well ; but
habit is stronger than reason, and day after day I
went on being perplexed, and often unready for the
" early-closing" system.
" Water we must have," said I to the Wallack.
" Let us strike off from the direct route and follow
the lead of this valley, we shall find water in the
bottom for a certainty."
We hurried forward, leading our horses through
the thick undercover, always diving deeper into
the ravine. At length I discovered a trickling
amongst the stones, and a little farther on we
came upon a grassy spot beneath some enormous
pine-trees. It was an ideal place for a bivouac !
When the horses had been carefully picketed, we
proceeded to make a fire and cook our supper, which
consisted of gipsy-meat and tea.
The meal finished to my perfect satisfaction,
(how good everything tastes under such circum-
stances !) I then stretched myself on a sloping bank
overspread by a thick covering of dry needle-ivood,
as the Germans call the leaves of the fir-tree. How
soft and clean it felt, and how sweet the aromatic
perfume that pervaded the whole place ! Lighting
my pipe, I gave myself up to the perfect enjoyment
168 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
of repose amidst this romantic scene. The Wallack,
covered by his fur bunda, was already asleep, and
save the bubbling of the water in the little stream,
and the crackling of the fire, there was absolutely
not a sound or a breath. Through the tasselled pine
branches, festooned with streamers of grey moss, I
could see the stars shining in the blue depths of
ether. One can realise in these regions the intense
depth of the heavens when seen at night ; we never
get the same effect in our " weeping skies."
Before wrapping my plaid round me for the
night, I threw some fresh wood on the fire, which,
crushing down upon the hot embers, sent up a
scintillating shower of sparks that ran a mad race
in and out of the greenery. I saw that the horses
were all right, I put my gun handy, and then I gave
myself up to sleep.
I do not know how long I had slept, but I was
conscious of being bothered, and could not rouse
myself at once. I dreamed that a bear was sniffing
at me, but instead of being the least surprised or
frightened, I said to myself in my dream, as if it
was quite a common occurrence, "That's the bear
again, he always comes when I am asleep." The
next moment, however, I was very effectually
awakened by a tug that half lifted me off the
ground. I must mention that I had tied my horse's
A BEAR AGAIN. 1G9
halter to my waist-belt in case of any alarm in the
night, for I sleep so soundly always that no ordinary
noise or movement ever wakes me. I sprang up of
course, calling the Wallack at the same time. Some-
thing had frightened the horses, and they had
attempted to bolt. We found them trembling from
head to foot, but we could not discover the cause
of their fright. I fired off my revolver twice ; the
Wallack in the meantime had lighted a bundle of
resinous fir branches as a torch. He had carefully
arranged it before he slept ; it is a capital thing, as
it gives a good light on an emergency.
After making an examination of the place all
round, and finding nothing, we made up a bright
fire, and again laid ourselves down to rest. I had
my saddle for a pillow, and it was not half bad.
Before giving myself over to sleep I listened and
listened again, but I heard nothing except the hoot-
ing of the owls answering each other in the distance.
The night had grown very cold, and a heavy dew
was falling, but notwithstanding these discomforts
I had another good nap.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we were
off early. Instead of going uphill again to recover
our former route, we followed the stream, which
gradually increased in size, and we came at last to
a place where a dam had been thrown across the
170 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
valley with the object of floating the wood cut in
the forest. This small lake was very pretty ; the
water was as clear as crystal. Farther on we came
upon another dam of larger dimensions ; but though
it had evidently been quite recently constructed,
there was no one about, and no signs of wood-
cutting. Here we began to ascend again, and
about mid-day got to a place called La Durs, a
customhouse for cattle coming from Eoumania ; it
is not absolutely on the frontier, but very near it.
I heard later that this district has a bad reputation
for smugglers and robbers, the latter being on the
increase, it is said ; always the same story of un-
repressed lawlessness on the frontier.
We made no stay at the customhouse, but rode
on a couple of miles farther, where, coming upon a
nice spring, we dined. Not a single shepherd had
we met, so there had been no chance of bartering
for milk ; it was not surprising, because our track
had been almost entirely in the forests, and
of course the shepherds are higher up on the
Alpen. At this last halting-place we nearly set
the forest on fire. The grass was very dry all
round, and before I was aware of it, the fire ran
along the ground and caught the trees. It blazed
up in an inconceivably short time. I rushed up
directly, to cut off what branches I could with
VIEW OF HERRMANNSTADT. 171
my bowie-knife ; but though calling loudly to the
Wallack to assist me, he never concerned himself
in the least. This exasperated me beyond measure,
seeing what mischief was likely to accrue from the
misadventure. Luckily a man came up, riding on
one horse and leading another, and he readily gave
me a helping hand, and between us we put out the
fire. The Wallack never raised a finger !
Getting into conversation with the new-comer,
I found that he was going to Orlat, whereupon I
arranged to go on with him. Accordingly I paid
my guide, and was not sorry to have done with
him, he had so disgusted me about the fire, and I
was especially glad to get quit of his wretched
horse, which had greatly retarded our progress. I
transferred my saddle-bags to the spare horse, and
we got on much faster, reaching Orlat by sunset.
Before descending into the plain we had a mag-
nificent view. Herrmannstadt seemed almost at our
feet, though in reality it was still a long way off ;
the Fogaraser Mountains stretching away towards
Kronstadt, appeared in all their picturesque irregu-
larity, and along the plain at their base were
scattered the villages of the Saxonland, each with
its fortress-church, a relic of the old time, when
the brave burghers had to hold their own against
Turk and Tartar.
172 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
At Orlat I found a small inn, but they had no
travellers' room in it ; however some of the family
were good enough to turn out, and I was very glad
to turn in, and that rather early.
Herrmannstadt — Saxon immigrants — Museum— Places of interest in
the neighbourhood — The fortress-churches — Heltau — The Rothen
Thurm Pass — Turkish incursions.
The following morning a ride of ten miles brought
me to Herrmannstadt. Here I put up at the Hotel
Neurikrer, a comfortable house ; it was a new sen-
sation getting into the land of inns. The fact is, the
Saxons are not indifferent to the existence of inns ;
it relieves them of the necessity of hospitality. The
Hungarian will take the wheels off his guest's carriage
and hide them to prevent his departure, whereas the
Saxon would be more inclined to speed the parting
guest with amiable alacrity. There is an old-world
look about Herrmannstadt that gives one the sensa-
tion of being landed in another age ; it is a case of
Rip Van Winkle, only " t'other way round," as the
saying is : one has awakened from the sleep in the
hills to walk down into a mediaeval town, finding
the speech and fashions of old Germany — Luther's
The Saxon immigrants in Hungary number nearly
174 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
two millions. The greater proportion of these is found
in Transylvania; the rest, some forty thousand, have
a compact colony under the shadow of the Tatra
Mountains, in the north of Hungary, called from
time immemorable the " Free District." But it was
to the slopes of the Southern Carpathians, to the
"land beyond the forest," where the first Saxons
came and settled. It is still called " Altland," being
the oldest of their possessions in Hungary. In fact
this appellation of the " Oldland " belongs, strictly
speaking, to the Herrmannstadt district. Formerly
no Hungarian was allowed to settle in the town, so
jealous were the burghers of their privileges. I be-
lieve the earliest date of the Saxon immigration is
1143. The country had been wasted by the incur-
sions of the Tartars, and in consequence the Servian
Princess Helena, widow of the blind King Bela of
Hungary, invited them hither during the minority of
her son, Geysa II. They appear to have come from
Flanders, and from the neighbourhood of Cologne.
They were tempted to this strange land by certain
privileges and special rights secured to them by the
rulers of Hungary, and faithfully preserved through
many difficulties; as a fact the Saxons of Tran-
sylvania retained their self-government down to
the middle of this century.
These people have played no unimportant part in
European history; for Herrmannstadt and Kronstadt,
the sister towns of Saxon Transylvania, were called
the bulwarks of Christianity all through the evil days
of Moslem invasion. Herrmannstadt was called by
the Turks the " Eed Town " on account of the colour
of its brick walls. It was besieged in 1438 with a
force of 70,000 men headed by the Sultan Amurad
himself, and great were the rejoicings amongst the
brave burghers when it became known that an arrow
directed from one of the towers had rid them of their
foe ! Trade and commerce must have prospered, by
all accounts, in those days ; and the burghers made
themselves of importance, for King Andrew II., a
man far in advance of his time, summoned them to
assist in consultation at the Imperial Parliament.
The wealth of Herrmannstadt is a thing of the past ;
the place has now the appearance of a dead level of
competence, where riches and poverty are equally
absent. There were no new houses building to
supply an increasing population, nor, I should say,
had any been built for many years.
The town is prettily situated on a slight elevation
above the surrounding plain ; it has the fine range
of the Fogaraser Mountains as a background. The
old moat, where Amurad fell pierced by the well-
directed arrow, has been turned into a promenade ;
parts of the fortifications remain in a state of pictur-
176 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
esque ruin. Herrmannstadt is the seat of the Pro-
testant Bishop of Transylvania, and there is a fine
old church, which, however, has suffered severely in
the process of restoration.
The interior of the church is in that unhappy
condition which bespeaks the churchwarden's
period — whitewash plastered over everything,
obliterating lights and shades and rare carvings
beneath a glare of uncouth cleanliness. In their
desire to remove every object that could harbour
dust or obstruct the besom of reform, they have
bodily removed from the church many rich monu-
ments and interesting effigies, and these are to be
seen huddled away in an obscure corner of the
churchyard. The church has a large collection of
richly-embroidered vestments belonging to the pre-
Herrmannstadt is decidedly rich in collections.
The Bruckenthal Library contains an illuminated
missal of great beauty ; the execution is singularly
fine, and the designs very artistic. The curious
thing is that the history of this rare volume is
unknown ; by some it is believed to have come from
Bohemia during the time of the troubles in that
country, however nothing is positively known.
The book is of the finest vellum, containing 630
pages in small quarto. The pictures of architecture
and scenery are extremely interesting; the first
represent buildings familiar to us in old German
towns, and the rural scenes depict a variety of
agricultural instruments, together with many details
of home life in the olden time. The colours
of the birds and flowers are as bright as if only
finished yesterday. The ingenuity of the design is
very striking ; no two objects are alike. It would
have taken hours to have looked over the volume
In the palace, of which the museum forms a part,
there is a gallery of pictures, collected by the Baron
Bruckenthal, formerly governor of Transylvania.
The history of these pictures is very curious, they
were mostly purchased from French refugees at the
time of the first revolution. It appears that both
at that period, and at the revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, many French families had sought an
asylum in Hungary and Transylvania. In the
Banat I am told there are two or three villages
inhabited entirely by people who came originally
from France ; they retain only their Gallic names,
having adopted the Magyar tongue and utterly lost
their own. This little colony of the Banat belonged
of course to the Huguenot exodus. I had now an
opportunity of examining a collection of the Boman
antiquities obtained from the Hatszeg Valley.
178 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
I remained several days at Herrmannstadt, princi-
pally for the sake of resting my horse, which unfortu-
nately had been rubbed by the saddle-bags on my
ride from Petroseny. I spent the time agreeably
enough, exploring the neighbourhood and making
chance acquaintances. I bought here Bishop
Teusch's ' History of Transylvanian Saxons/ a
handy-book in two volumes. It interested me
very much, especially reading it in the country
itself where so many stirring scenes had been
Wishing to see some of the neighbouring villages,
I set off one fine day on a walking expedition. I
chose Sunday, because on that day one can see to
best advantage the costume of the peasants. Ham-
mersdorf is a pretty enough village, " fair with
orchard lawns/' but not so charming as Heltau,
which, standing on high ground, commands an
extensive view of the whole plain, with the old
" Eed Town " in the foreground of the picture.
The church in this village is a very fine specimen
of the fortified churches, which are a unique feature
of the Transylvanian border-land. The origin of
this form of architecture is very obvious ; it was
necessary to have a defence against the incursions of
the Tartars and Turks, who for centuries troubled
the peace of this fair land. In every village of the
TRANSYLVANIAN CHURCHES. 179
Saxons in the south and east of Transylvania the
church is also a fortified place, fitted to maintain
a siege if necessary. The construction of these
buildings varies according to circumstances : the
general character is that the sacred edifice is sur-
rounded, or forms part of a strong wall with its
watch-towers ; not unfrequently a second and even
a third wall surround the place. In every case a
considerable space of ground is enclosed around the
church, sufficient to provide accommodation for
the villagers; in fact every family with a house
outside had a corresponding hut within the fortified
walls. Here, too, was a granary, and some of the
larger places had also their school-tower attached
to the church. It happened not unfrequently that
the villagers were obliged to remain for some weeks
in their sanctuary.
Heltau is an industrious little place. Here is
manufactured the peculiar white frieze so much
worn by the Wallacks. Nearly every house has
its loom, but I was told the trade is less flourishing
than formerly. The woollen-cloth manufacturers of
Transylvania have suffered very much from the
introduction of foreign goods ; but, on the other
hand, if they would bestir themselves they might
enormously increase their exports. Heltau is a
market-place, and reserves many old privileges very
180 BOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
jealously. Its inhabitants were often in dispute with
the burghers of Herrmannstadt, and on one occasion
they had the audacity, in rebuilding their church-
tower, to place four turrets upon it. Their neigh-
bours regarded this with great indignation, for are
not four turrets the sign and symbol of civic autho-
rity ? The burghers of Herrmannstadt hereupon
obliged the men of Heltau to sign a bond, saying
that " they were but humble villagers," and promis-
ing to treat their haughty neighbours with all due
"honour, fear, and friendship/'
From Heltau I went on to Michaelsburg, an
extremely curious place. In the centre of a lovely
valley rises a conical rock of gneiss, protruding to
the height of 200 feet or more. This is crowned by
the ruins of a Eomanesque church. There are, I
believe, only two other specimens of this kind of
architecture in the country. The time of the build-
ing of Michaelsburg is stated to be between 1173
and 1223. Before the use of artillery this fortified
church on the rock must have been really im-
pregnable. Inside the walls I found a quantity of
large round stones — the shot and shell of those
days ; these stones were capable of making con-
siderable havoc amongst a besieging party I should
say. The custom was in the old time that no
young man should be allowed to take unto himself
a wife till lie had carried one such stone from the
bed of the river where they are found, to the
summit of the rock within the church walls. As
these stones weigh between two and three hundred-
weight, and the ascent is very steep, it was a test
of strength. The villagers were anxious to prevent
the weaklings from marrying lest they should spoil
the hardy race.
The view from the village itself is very pretty,
home-like, and with a more familiar look about the
vegetation than I had seen elsewhere. There were
orchards of cherry-trees, and hedges, as in our west
country, festooned with wild hops and dog-roses.
Every girl I met was busily engaged plaiting
straw as she walked. This straw is for hats of
a particular kind for which the place is famed.
Besides this industry, the people are great bee-
keepers, and make a good trade by selling the
honey. The produce of the hives in the Southern
Carpathians is the very poetry of honey ; it is per-
fectly delicious, not surpassed by that of Hymettus
or Hybla, so famed in ancient story. This " moun-
tain honey " sometimes reaches the London market,
but, unfortunately, not with any regularity. It is
most difficult to make these people practical in
their trade dealings ; and as for time, they must have
come into the world before it was talked about.
182 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
I made a short excursion into the Kothen Thurm
Pass, the principal road across the Southern Car-
pathians, if we except the Tomoscher Pass from
Kronstadt, which, owing to local circumstances, has
become more important. The Eothen Thurm or
Eed Tower Pass is extremely picturesque. It is
traversed by the Aluta, which though rising in
the Szeklerland in the north-east, finds its way
through the Carpathian range, flowing at length
into the Lower Danube. The red tower stands at
the narrowest part of the defile, an important
position of defence ; and not far from this spot
signal victory was gained by the Christians over
the infidels. In the year 1493 the Turks made one
of their frequent raids into Transylvania. They
had succeeded in collecting a vast amount of boot}^,
including many fair young maidens and tender
youths, and were returning in long cavalcade
through the Eed Tower Pass. Here, however, they
fell into an ambuscade arranged by the men of
Herrmannstadt, headed by their burgomaster, the
brave George Hecht. At a concerted signal the
Saxons rushed upon the despoilers with such a
fierce and sudden onslaught, that though the Turks
far exceeded them in number, they were completely
overpowered. Many a turbaned corpse lay that
day on the green margin of the classical Aluta, and
few, very few, of the hated Turks, it is said, escaped
over the frontier to tell the tale of their disaster.
How many a home must have been gladdened by
the sight of the rescued children after that happy
These abductions are not altogether a thing of
the past. In the autumn of 1875, the very date
of my tour, a paragraph appeared in a Pest news-
paper stating that a young girl of great beauty
in the neighbourhood of Temesvar, in the Banat of
Hungary, had been secretly carried off into Turkey
without the knowledge or consent of her parents.
It was further stated that these scandalous proceed-
ings were of very frequent occurrence in the border
provinces. For some years past the supply of
beautiful Circassians has been deficient, it is said, so
doubtless the harems of Constantinople are supplied
with Christian maidens to make up the numbers.
The late Sultan — I mean the one who committed
suicide — was considered a moderate man, and he
had eight hundred women in his harem, at least
so a relative of mine was credibly informed at
Magyar intolerance of the German — Patriotic revival of the Magyar
language — Eide from Herrmannstadt to Kronstadt — The village
of Zeiden — Curious scene in church — Reformation in Tran-
sylvania — Political bitterness between Saxons and Magyars in
My horse being all right again, I thought it high
time to push on to Kronstadt, which is nearly ninety
miles from Herrmannstadt by road. There is railway
communication, but not direct ; you have to get on
the main line at the junction of Klein Kopisch — in
Hungarian, Kis Kapus — and hence to Kronstadt,
called Brasso by the non-Germans. This confusion
of names is very difficult for a foreigner when con-
sulting the railway tables. I have often seen the
names of stations put up in three languages. Herr-
mannstadt is Nagy Szeben. The confusion of tongues
in Hungary is one of the greatest stumbling-blocks
to progress ; and unfortunately it is considered
patriotic by the Magyar to speak his own language
and ignore that of his neighbour.
MAGYAR INTOLERANCE. 185
It happened to me once that I entered an inn in
a Hungarian town, and addressing the waiter, I gave
my orders in German, whereupon an elderly gentle-
man turned sharply upon me, saying — also in Ger-
man, observe — " It is the custom to speak Hun-
" I am not acquainted with the language, sir," I
replied. " German is not to be spoken here — Hun-
garian or nothing," he retorted. I simply turned on
my heel with a gesture of impatience. It was rather
too much for any old fellow, however venerable and
patriotic, to condemn me to silence and starvation
because I could not speak the national lingo, so in
the irritation of the moment I rapped out an English
expletive, meant as an aside. Enough ! No sooner
did the testy old gentleman hear the familiar sound,
invariably associated with the travelling Britisher
in old days, than he turned to me with the utmost
urbanity, saying in French, " Pardon a thousand
times, I thought you were a German from the fluency
of your speech ; I had no idea you were an English-
man. Why did you not tell me at once ? What
orders shall I give for you \ How can I help you ?"
It ended in our dining together and becoming the
best friends ; in fact he invited me to spend a week
with him at his chateau in the neighbourhood. In
the course of conversation I could not help asking
186 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
him why, as he spoke German himself and the people
in the inn also understood it — in fact I am not sure
but what it was their mother-tongue — why he would
not allow the language to be spoken ?
" We are Hungarians here," he replied, going off
into testiness again, " and we do not want that
cursed German spoken on all sides. I, for one, will
move heaven and earth to get my own language
used in my own country. Ha, ha ! the Austrians
wanted us to have their officials everywhere on the
railway. We have put a stop to that ; now every
man-jack of them must speak Hungarian. It gave
an immensity of trouble, and they did not like it at
all, I can tell you."
I did not attempt to argue with the old gentle-
man, for his views were inextricably mixed up with
feelings and patriotism.
As a matter of fact, in the early part of this
century the Magyar language was hardly spoken by
the upper classes except in communicating with their
inferiors ; but when the patriotic Count Stephen
Szechenyi first roused his fellow-countrymen to
nobler impulses and more enlightened views, he held
forth the restoration of the national language as the
first necessity of their position. In his time it meant
breaking down the barrier which separated classes.
He was the first in the Chamber of Magnates who
THE MAGYAR LANGUAGE. 187
spoke in the tongue understood by the people ;
hitherto Latin had been the language of the Cham-
bers. With the exception of a group of poets —
Var6smazty, Petoefy, Kolcsey, and the brothers
Kisfaludy — there were hardly any writers who em-
ployed their native language in literature or science.
Count Szechenyi set the fashion, he wrote his political
works in Hungarian, and what was more, assisted
in establishing a national theatre.
There is perhaps no place where Shakespeare is
so often given as at the Hungarian theatre at Buda-
pest, and it is said by competent judges that their
translation of our great poet is unequalled in any
language, German not excepted.
To a foreigner the Hungarian tongue appears very
difficult, because of its isolated character and its
striking difference from any other European language.
In Cox's ' Travels in Sweden/ published in the last
century, he mentions that Sainovits, a learned
Jesuit, a native of Hungary, who had gone to
Lapland to observe the transit of Venus in 1775,
remarked that the Hungarian and Lapland idioms
were the same ; and he further stated that many
words were identical. As a Turanian language,
Hungarian has also an alliance with the Turkish as
well as the Finnish ; but there are only six and
a half millions of Magyars who speak the language,
188 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
and by no possibility can it be adopted by any other
For their men of letters it is an undeniable mis-
fortune to have so restricted a public ; a translated
work is never quite the same. The question of lan-
guage must also limit the choice of professors in the
higher schools and at the university. But political
grievances are mixed up with the language ques-
tion, and of those I will not speak now, while I am
still in Saxonland, where they do not love the
Magyar or anything belonging to him.
Eeturning to the itinerary of my route, I left
Herrmannstadt very early one morning, getting to
Fogaras by four o'clock ; it was about forty-seven
miles of good road. This little town is celebrated
for the cultivation of tobacco. There is a large inn
here, which looked promising from the outside, but
that was all ; it had no inside to speak of — no food,
no stable-boy, nothing. After foraging about I
got something to eat with great difficulty, and
feeling much disgusted with my quarters, I sallied
forth to find the clergyman of the place, to whom
I introduced myself.
I spent the evening at his house, and found him
a very jolly old fellow ; he entertained me with a
variety of good stories, some of them relating to the
tobacco-smuggling. The peasants are allowed to
A SAXON CONGREGATION. 189
grow the precious weed on condition that they sell
it all to the State at a fixed rate. Naturally, if they
otherwise disposed of it, they would be able to make
a much larger profit, as it is a monopoly of the
State. They have a peculiar way of mystifying the
exciseman as to the number of leaves on a string,
for this is the regulation way of reckoning ; besides
which, wholesale smuggling goes on at times, and
waggon-loads are got away. Occasionally there is
a fight between the officials and the peasants.
I had intended getting on to Kronstadt the next
day, but I stopped at the Saxon village of Zeiden.
The clergyman, on hearing that there was a stranger
in the place, hastened to the inn, where he found
me calmly discussing my mid-day meal. He would
not hear of my going on to Kronstadt, but kindly
invited me to be his guest. I heard a great deal
later of his unvarying hospitality to strangers.
The next day being Sunday, of course I went to
church with my host. The congregation, including
their pastor, wore the costume of the middle ages ;
it was a most curious and interesting sight. I am
never a good hand at describing the details of dress,
but I know my impression was that the pastor —
wearing a ruff, I think, or something like it — might
just have walked out of a picture, such as one
knows so well of the old Puritans in Cromwell's
190 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
time. The dress of the peasants, though unlike the
English fashion of any period, had an old-world look.
The married women wore white kerchiefs twisted
round the head, sleeveless jackets, with a mystery
of lace adornments. The marriageable girls sat to-
gether in one part of the church, which I thought
very funny ; they wore drum-shaped hats poised
on the head in a droll sort of way. Some of
them had a kind of white leather pelisse beautifully
wrought with embroidery. Each girl carried a
large bouquet of flowers. These blue-eyed German
maidens were many of them very pretty, and all
were fresh looking and exquisitely neat. It was
an impressive moment when the whole congregation
joined in singing —
" Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott ; n
" the Marseillaise of the Keformation," as Heine
calls Luther s hymn, " that defiant strain that up
to our time has preserved its inspiring power."
The Keformation spread with wonderful rapidity
throughout the length and breadth of Hungary,
more especially in Transylvania. It appears that
the merchants of Herrmannstadt, who were in the
habit of attending the great fair at Leipsic, brought
back Luther's writings, which had the effect of set-
ting fire to men's minds. At one time more than
half Hungary had declared for the new doc-
REFORMATION IN TRANSYLVANIA. 191
trines, but terrible persecutions thinned their ranks.
According to the latest statistics there are 1,109,154
Lutherans and 2,024,332 Calvinists in Hungary.
The Saxons of Transylvania belong almost ex-
clusively to the Eeformed faith ; they had always
preserved in a remarkable degree their love for
civil and political freedom, hence their minds were
prepared to receive Protestantism. Three monks
from Silesia, converts to Luther's views, came into
these parts to preach, passing from one village to
another, and in the towns they " held catechisings
and preachings in the public squares and market-
places/' where crowds came from all the country
round to hear them. The peasants went back to
their mountain homes with Bibles in their hands ;
and since that time the simple folk, through wars
and persecutions, have held steadfast to their faith.
Herrmannstadt became a second Wittenberg : the
new doctrine was not more powerful in the town
where Luther lived. Several bishops joined the
party of the seceders, and already the towns
throughout Hungary had generally declared for the
Eeformation ; in many the " Catholic priests were
left, as shepherds without flocks." l When Popish
ceremonies aroused the ridicule of the people, and
1 See The History of Protestantism, by Rev. J. A. Wylie,
192 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
when even in country districts the priests who
came to demand their tithes were dismissed without
their "fat ducks and geese/' there was a general
outcry against the new heresy. The Eomish party
knew their strength at the Court of Vienna. At
the instigation of the Papal legate Cajetan, Louis
II. issued the terrible edict of 1523, which ran as
follows : " All Lutherans, and those who favour
them, as well as all adherents to their sect, shall
have their property confiscated and themselves be
punished with death as heretics and foes of the
most holy Virgin Mary."
While the monks were stirring up their partisans
to have the Lutherans put to death, a national
misfortune happened which saved Protestantism,
at least in Transylvania. Soliman the Magnificent
set out from Constantinople in the spring of 1526
with a mighty host, which came nearer and nearer
to Hungary like the " wasting levin." King Louis
lost his army and his life at the battle of Mohacks,
leaving the Turks to pursue their way into the
heart of the country, slaughtering upwards of
200,000 of its inhabitants. To this calamity, as
we all know, succeeded an internal civil war, result-
ing from the rival claims of John Zapolya and the
Archduke Ferdinand of Austria for the crown of
Hungary. Transylvania took advantage of this
FIRST HUNGARIAN PRINTING-PRESS. 193
critical time to achieve her independence under
Zapolya, consenting to pay tribute to the Porte
on condition of receiving assistance against the
tyranny of Austria. Thus it came about that
the infidel Turks helped to preserve the Keforma-
tion in this part of Europe : they became the
defenders of Protestant Transylvania against the
tyranny of Roman Catholic Austria. " Sell what
thou hast and depart into Transylvania, where thou
wilt have liberty to profess the truth/' were the
words spoken by King Ferdinand himself to Stephen
Szantai, a zealous preacher of the gospel in Upper
Hungary, whom he desired to defend.
It is said that the first printing-press set up in
Hungary was the gift of Count Nadasdy to Matthias
Devay, who was devoted to the education of youth ;
and the first work that was issued from the press
was a book for children, teaching the rudiments of
the gospel in the language of the country. The
same Protestant nobleman aided the publication in
1541 of an edition of the New Testament in the
Magyar tongue. " It is a remarkable fact," says
Mr Patterson, 1 " connected with the history of
Protestantism, that all its converts were made
within the pale of Latin Christianity. In the
nationalities of Hungary there belonged to Latin
1 The Magyars ; their Country and Institutions.
194 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Christianity the Magyars, the Slovacks, and the
In Transylvania the progress of Protestantism
was secured. In 1553 the Diet declared in favour
of the Eeformation by a majority of votes, and
while the province was governed by Petrovich,
during the minority of Zapolya's infant son, he
freed the whole of Transylvania from the jurisdic-
tion of the Eoman hierarchy.
When the Turks were finally expelled from
Hungary by the second battle of Mohacks in 1686,
Protestantism had grown strong enough in Transyl-
vania to extract from the house of Hapsburg the
celebrated Diploma Leopoldium (their Magna
Charta), which secured to them religious liberty
once and for ever.
Political difficulties — Impatient criticism of foreigners — Hungary
has everything to do — Tenant-farmers wanted — Wages.
It is remarkable that the Saxons in Transylvania,
who had suffered so much tribulation from the
religious persecutions of the house of Hapsburg,
preferring even to shelter themselves under the
protection of the Turk, should be the first to
support the tyranny of Austria against the Magyars
I visited at the house of a village pastor, who
told me he had himself led four hundred Saxons
against the Hungarians at that time. The remem-
brance of that era is not yet effaced; so many
people not much beyond middle age had taken
part in the war that the bitterness has not passed
out of the personal stage. Pacification and recon-
ciliation, and all the Christian virtues, have been
evoked ; but underlying the calm surface, all the
old hatreds of race still exist. Nothing assimilates
socially or politically in Hungary. The troubled
196 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
history of the past reappears in the political
difficulty of the present. And what can be done
when the Magyar will not hold with the Saxon,
and the Saxon cannot away with the Szekler %
Are not the ever - increasing Wallacks getting
numerically ahead of the rest, while the Southern
Slavs threaten the integrity of the empire %
Prosperity is the best solvent for disaffection.
When the resources of Hungary are properly
developed, and wealth results to the many, bring-
ing education and general enlightenment in its
train, there will be a common ground of interest,
even amongst those who differ in race, religion, and
language. It was a saying of the patriotic Count
Szechenyi, and the saying has passed into a proverb,
" Make money, and enrich the country ; an empty
sack will topple over, but if you fill it, it will stand
by its own weight."
" You call yourselves 'the English of the East/"
I said one day to a Hungarian friend of mine ;
" but how is it you are not more practical, since you
pay us the compliment of following our lead in
many things \ "
" You do not see that in many respects we are
children, the Hungarians are children/' replied my
friend. " ' We are not, but we shall be/ said one
of our patriots. You Britishers are rash in your
CONDITION OF HUNGARY. 197
impatient criticism of a state which has not come
to its full growth. It is hardly thirty years since
we emerged from the middle ages, so to speak ;
and you expect our civilisation to have the well-
worn polish of Western States. Think how recently
we have emancipated our serfs, and reformed our
constitution and our laws. Take into account, too,
that just as we were setting our house in order,
the enemy was at the gate — progress was arrested,
and our national life paralysed ; but let that pass,
we don't want to look back, we want to look
forward. We have still to build up the struc-
ture that with you is finished ; we are deficient in
everything that a state wants in these days, and
in our haste to make railways, roads, and bridges,
to erect public buildings, and to promote industrial
enterprises, we make certain financial blunders.
You must not forget that we in Hungary are
much in the same state that you were in England
in the thirteenth century, before tenant-holdings
had become general. We shall gradually learn to
see the advantages to be derived from letting land
on your farm system. There is nothing we desire
so much as the creation of the tenant-farmer class,
which hardly exists yet. Large estates would be
far better divided and let as farms on your system.
We are in a transition state as regards many things
198 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
in agricultural matters. English or Scotch farmers
would be welcomed over here by the great land-
owners. Your countryman, Professor Wrightson,
convinced himself of this when he was here in
1873. If they could command some capital, the
produce of the land in many instances could be
I asked my friend about labourers' wages, but he
said it was difficult to give any fixed rate. A mere
agricultural day-labourer would get from Is. 3d. to
Is. 6d. ; sometimes the evil practice of paying wages
in kind obtained — viz., a man receives so much
Indian corn (kukoricz). And not unfrequently a
peasant undertakes to plough the fields twice, to
hoe them three times, and to see the crop housed, for
which he receives the half of the yield provided he
has furnished the seed. The peasants' own lands, as
a rule, are very badly managed ; their ploughing is
shallow, and they do nothing or next to nothing in
the way of drainage.
Want of progress amongst the Saxons — The Burzenland — Kronstadt
— Mixed character of its inhabitants — Szeklers — General Bern's
It was a glorious morning when I left the comfort-
able village of Zeiden. Before me were the rich
pastures of the Burzenland, a tract which tradition
says was once filled up by the waters of a great
lake, till some Saxon hero hewed a passage through
the mountains in the Geisterwald for the riyer
Aluta, thus draining this fertile region.
The mountainous wall to the rear of Zeiden is
clothed by magnificent hanging woods, which at
the time I describe were just tinged with the first
rich touches of autumn. It was a lovely ride
through this fertile vale. On every side I saw my-
self surrounded by the lofty Carpathians, or the lesser
spurs of that grand range of mountains ; the higher
peaks to the south and south-east were already
capped with snow. The village in which I had so
agreeably sojourned for a couple of days almost rises
to the dignity of a little town, for it has nearly
200 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
4000 inhabitants. Considering its situation, on
the verge of this rich plain, and many other local
circumstances, it is, I suppose, a very favourable
example of a German settlement in Transylvania.
I had been struck by the extreme neatness of the
dwellings and the generally well-to-do air of the
people, but there is nothing progressive about these
Saxons. I saw plainly that what their fathers did
before them they do themselves, and expect their
sons to follow in the same groove. There is
amongst them generally a dead level of content
incomprehensible to a restless Englishman.
When I asked why they did not try to turn this
or that natural advantage to account, I was met
with the reply, " Our fathers have done very well
without it, why should not we V I could never dis-
cover any inclination amongst the Saxons to initiate
any fresh commercial enterprise either at home or
abroad, nor would they respond with any interest to
the most tempting suggestions as to ways and means
of increasing their possessions. It is all very well
to draw the moral picture of a contented people.
Contentment under some circumstances is the first
stage of rottenness. The inevitable law of change
works the deterioration of a race which does not pro-
gress. This fact admits of practical proof here. For
instance, the cloth manufactures of Transylvania
SAXON WANT OF ENTERPRISE. 201
are falling into decay, and there is nothing else of
an industrial kind substituted. The result is a
decrease of the general prosperity, and a marked
diminution in the population of the towns. Nor is
this the case in populous places only. The Saxon
villager desires to transmit the small estate he de-
rived from his father intact to his only son. He does
not desire a large family ; it would tax his energies
too much to provide for that. It is deeply to be
lamented that a superior race like the educated Sax-
ons of Transylvania, who held their own so bravely
against Turk and Tartar, and, what was more diffi-
cult still, preserved their religious liberty in spite of
Austrian Jesuits, should now be losing their political
ascendancy, owing mainly to their displacement by
the Wallacks. According to the last census, the
German immigrants in Hungary are estimated at
1,820,922. I have no means of making an accu-
rate comparison, but I hear on all hands that the
numbers are diminished. There are, besides, proofs
of it in the case of villages which were exclusively
Saxon having now become partly, even wholly,
There are wonderfully few chateaux in this
picturesque land. In my frequent rides over the
Burzenland I rarely saw any dwellings above what
we should attribute to a yeoman farmer. As a
202 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
matter of fact there are fewer aristocrats in this
part of Hungary, or perhaps I should say this part
of Transylvania, than in any other.
After my pleasant morning's ride I found myself
at Kronstadt, and put up at Hotel "No. 1" — an
odd name for a fairly good inn. There is another
farther in town — the Hotel Bucharest — also a place
of some pretension. The charges for rooms gener-
ally in the country are out of all proportion to the ac-
commodation given. Travellers are rare, at least they
used to be before the present war ; but Kronstadt is
the terminus of the direct railway from Buda-Pest,
which, communicating with the Tomoscher Pass over
the Carpathians, is the shortest route to Bucharest.
As far as the buildings are concerned, Kronstadt
has much the air of an old-fashioned German
town. As you pass along the streets you get a peep
now and then of picturesque interior courtyards,
seen through the wide-arched doorways. These
courts are mostly surrounded by an open arcade.
Generally in the centre of each is set a large
green tub holding an oleander-tree. This gives
rather an Oriental appearance to these interiors.
The East and West are here mixed up together
most curiously. Amongst the fair-haired, blue-eyed
Saxons are dusky Armenians and black-ringleted
Jews, wearing strange garments. By the way, the
merchants of these two races have ousted the Saxon
trader from the field ; commerce is almost com-
pletely in their hands.
The market-day at Kronstadt is a most curious
and interesting sight. The country-people come in,
sitting in their long waggons, drawn by four horses
abreast, they themselves dressed in cloaks of snow-
white sheepskins, or richly - embroidered white
leather coats lined with black fur. The head-gear
too is very comely, and very dissimilar ; for there
are flat fur caps — like an exaggerated Glengarry
—and peaked hats, and drum-shaped hats for the
girls, while the close-twisted white kerchief denotes
the matron. The "Wallack maiden is adorned by her
dowry of coins hanging over head and shoulders,
and with braids of plaited black hair — mingled, I
am afraid, with tow, if the truth must be spoken.
Kronstadt is rather a considerable place ; the popu-
lation is stated to be 27,766, composed of Saxons,
Szeklers, and Wallacks, who have each their sepa-
rate quarter. It is most beautifully situated, quite
amongst the mountains ; in fact it is 2000 feet above
the sea-level. The Saxon part of the town is built
in the opening of a richly- wooded valley. The ap-
proach from the vale beyond — the Burzenland, of
which I have spoken before — is guarded by a singular
isolated rock, a spur of the mountain-chain. This
204 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
natural defence is crowned by a fortress, which
forms a very picturesque feature in the landscape.
Formerly the town was completely surrounded by
walls, curtained on the hillside, reminding one of
Lucern's " coronal of towers." In the " brave days
of old " the trade-guilds were severally allotted their
forts for the defence of the town — no holiday task
for volunteers, as in our " right little, tight little
Though the dangers of the frontier are by no
means a thing of the past, the town walls and the
towers are mainly in ruins, overgrown with wild
vines and other luxuriant vegetation. As no guide-
book exists to tell one what one ought to see, and
where one ought to go, I had all the pleasure of
poking about and coming upon surprises. I was
not aware that the church at Kronstadt is about
the finest specimen of fourteenth-century Gothic in
Transylvania, ranking second only to the Cathe-
dral of Kashau in Upper Hungary.
My first walk was to the Kapellenburg, a hill
which rises abruptly from the very walls of the
town. An hour's climb through a shady zigzag
brought me to the summit. From thence I could
see the " seven villages " which, according to some
persons, gave the German name to the province,
Siebenburgen, " seven towns." The level Burzen-
COUNTRY ROUND KRONSTADT. 205
land looked almost like a green lake ; beyond it the
chain of the Carpathian takes a bend, forming the
frontier of Koumania. The highest point seen from
thence is the Schtilerberg, upwards of 8000 feet, and
a little farther off the Konigstein, and the But-
schrtsch, the latter reaching 9526 feet. Hardly less
picturesque is the view from the Castle Hill. Quite
separated from the rest of the town is the quarter
inhabited by the Szeklers. This people constitute
one of four principal races inhabiting Transylvania.
They are of Turanian origin, like the Magyars, but
apparently an older branch of the family. When
the Magyars overran Pannonia in the tenth century,
under the headship of the great Arpad, they appear to
have found the Szeklers already in possession of part
of the vast Carpathian horseshoe — that part known to
us as the Transylvanian frontier of Moldavia. They
claim to have come hither as early as the fourth
century. It is known that an earlier wave of the
Turanians had swept over Europe before the in-
coming of the Magyars, and the so-called Szeklers
were probably a tribe or remnant of this invasion,
the date of which, however, is wrapped in no little
This is certain, that they have preserved their
independence throughout all these ages in a very
remarkable manner. " They are all ' noble/" says Mr
206 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Boner, " and proudly and steadfastly adhere to and
uphold their old rights and privileges, such as right of
hunting and of pasture. They had their own judges,
and acknowledged the authority of none beside. Like
their ancestors the Huns, they loved fighting, and were
the best soldiers that Bern had in his army. They
guarded the frontier, and guarded it well, of their
own free-will ; but they would not be compelled to
do so, and the very circumstance that Austria, when
the border system was established, obliged them to
furnish a contingent of one infantry and two hussar
regiments sufficed to alienate their regard." 1 In
another place Mr Boner says, "The Szekler soldier,
I was told, was ' excessive/ which means extreme, in
all he did."
In the view of recent events, it may be worth
while to recall to mind a few particulars of General
Bern's campaign in Transylvania. In no part of
Hungary was the war of independence waged with
so much bitterness as down here on these border-
lands. The Saxons and the Wallacks were bitterly
opposed to the Magyars ; and on the 12th of May,
in the eventful '48, a popular meeting was held
at Kronstadt, where they protested vehemently
against union with Hungary, and swore allegiance
to the Emperor of Austria. Upon this the Szeklers
1 Boner's Transylvania, p. 624.
GENERAL BEM's CAMPAIGN. 207
flew to arms — on the side of the Magyars, of course ;
throughout their history they have always made
common cause with them. In the autumn of the
same year, Joseph Bern, a native of Galicia, who
had fought under Marshal Davoust, later with
Macdonald at the siege of Hamburg, and had also
taken part in the Polish insurrection of 1830,
attached himself to the Hungarian cause. He had
formed a body of troops from the wrecks and rem-
nants of other corps, and soon by his admirable
tactics succeeded on two occasions in beating the
Austrians at the very outset of his campaign ; the
latter of these victories was near Dees, to the north
of Klausenburg, where he defeated General War-
dener. The winter of that terrible year wore on.
In Transylvania it was not merely keeping back the
common enemy, the invader of the soil, but it was
a case where the foes were of the same township,
and the nearest neighbours confronted each other on
The Austrians meanwhile had called in the
Kussians to aid them in crushing the Hungarians ;
and at the time it was believed that the Saxons of
Transylvania had instigated this measure. It is
easy to understand how the Eussians would be
hated along with their allies ; it was a desperate
struggle, and well fought out by Magyars and
208 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Szeklers, ably handled by General Bern. Herr-
mannstadt and Kronstadt both fell into his hands,
after a vigorous defence by the Austro-Russian
garrisons ; in fact, by the middle of March ? 49,
the whole of Transylvania, with the exception of
Karlsburg and Deva, was held by the troops of this
fortunate general. But, as we all know, the Hun-
garian arms were not so successful elsewhere, and
the end of that struggle was approaching, which
was to find its saddest hour at Villagos on the 13th
of August, when the Hungarians were cajoled into
laying down their arms before the Russians !
The rest of the miserable story had better not be
dwelt upon. Much has changed in these few years.
Now a Hapsburg recognises the privilege of mercy
amongst his kingly attributes. The last words of
Maximilian, the ill-fated Emperor of Mexico, were,
" Let my blood be the last shed as an offering for
my country." Since then capital punishment has
become of rare occurrence in Austria ; and remem-
bering his brother's death, the Emperor, it is said,
can hardly be induced to sign a death-warrant !
The Tomoscher Pass — Projected railway from Kronstaclt to Bucharest
— Visit to the cavalry barracks at Rosenau — Terzburg Pass —
Dr Daubeny on the extinct volcanoes of Hungary — Professor
Judd on mineral deposits.
Kronstadt is a capital place as headquarters for
any one who desires to explore the neighbouring
country. One of my first expeditions was to Sinia,
a small bath-place in the Tomoscher Pass, just over
the borders — in fact in Eoumania. Here Prince
Charles has a charming chateau, and there are
besides several ambitious Swiss cottages belonging
to the wealthy grandees of Eoumania. My object
was not so much to see the little place, as it was
to explore this pass of the Carpathians, now so
familiar to newspaper correspondents and others
since the Eusso-Turkish war began.
As I mentioned before, a railway is projected from
Kronstadt through this pass, which will meet the
Lemberg and Bucharest line at Ployesti, that station
being less than two hours from the Eoumanian
capital. Up to the present hour not a sod of this
210 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
railway has been turned ; but curiously enough,
with only two or three exceptions, all the " war
maps " have made the capital mistake of marking it
down as a completed line. In the autumn of 1875,
when I was there, the levels had been taken and
the course marked down ; if it is ever really carried
out, it will be one of the most beautiful railway
drives in Europe. It is a most important link in
the railway system of Eastern Europe. The
Danube route is frequently, indeed periodically,
closed by the winter's ice, and sometimes by the
drought of summer, in which case the traveller who
wants to get to Eoumania must take the train from
Buda-Pest to Kronstadt, and thence by road through
the Tomoscher Pass to Ployesti.
There is a diligence service twice daily, occupying
fourteen hours or thereabouts, dependent, of course,
on the state of the roads, which can be very bad —
inconceivably bad. For the sake of the excursion
I took a place in the postwagen one day as far as
Sinia, where there is a modern hotel and very toler-
able quarters. The scenery of the pass is very
romantic. In places the road winds round the face
of the precipice, and far below is a deep sunless
glen, through which the mountain torrent rushes
noisily over its rocky bed ; at other times you skirt
the stream with its green margin of meadow — a
TOMOSCHER PASS. 211
pastoral oasis amidst the wild grandeur of bare
limestone peaks and snowy summits. The autum-
nal colouring on the hanging woods of oak and
beech was something more brilliant than I ever
remember to have seen ; the effect of being oneself
in shadow and seeing the glory of the sunlight on
the foliage of the other side of the defile, was most
striking. Above this ruby mountain rose other
heights with a girdle of dark fir, and higher still
were visible yet loftier peaks, clothed in the dazzling
whiteness of fresh-fallen snow. In the Southern
Carpathians there is no region of perpetual snow,
but the higher summits are generally snow-clad late
in the spring and very early in the autumn. I was
told there is good bear-hunting in this district.
While at Kronstadt I made the acquaintance of
some Austrian officers quartered in the neighbour-
hood. They kindly invited me to the cavalry
barracks at Eosenau, and accordingly I went over
for a few days. The barracks were built by the
people of the village, or rather small town, of
Rosenau ; for they were obliged by law to quarter
the military, and to avoid the inconvenience of
having soldiers billeted upon them they constructed
a suitable building. The cavalry horses were nearly
all in a bad plight when I was there, for they had
an epidemic of influenza amongst them ; but we
212 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
found a couple of nags to scramble about with, and
made some pleasant excursions. One of our rides
was to a place called " The Desolate Path," a singu-
larly wild bit of scenery, and curiously in contrast
to the rich fertility of Rosenau and its immediate
neighbourhood. This pretty little market town
lies at the foot of a hill, which is crowned with a
romantic ruin, one of the seven burgher fortresses
built by the Saxon immigrants. There is a re-
markably pretty walk from the village to the
" Odenweg," a romantic ravine, with beautiful
hanging woods and castellated rocks disposed about
in every sort of fantastic form. It reminded me
somewhat of some parts of the Odenwald near
Heidelberg. Very likely the wild and mysterious
character of the spot led the German settlers to
associate with it the name of Oden.
We also rode over the Terzburg Pass. The pic-
turesque castle which gives its name to this pass is
situated on an isolated rock, admirably calculated
for defence in the old days. It belonged once upon
a time to the Teutonic Knights, who held it on
condition of defending the frontier; but they be-
came so intolerable to the burghers of Kronstadt,
that these informed their sovereign that they pre-
ferred being their own defenders, and thus the castle
and nine villages were given over to the town.
TRANS YLVANIAN WATERING-PLACES. 213
The Germans who had left their own Ehine country
for the sake of getting away from the robber
knights were not anxious for that special mediaeval
institution to accompany them in their flitting, we
may be sure. The democratic character of the laws
and customs of the Germans of Transylvania is a
very curious and interesting study ; in not a few
instances these people have anticipated by some
centuries the liberal ideas of Western Europe in our
After returning from the visit to my military
friends at Kosenau, I was told I must not omit
to make some excursions to the celebrated mineral
watering-places of Transylvania. The chief baths
in this locality are Elopatak and Tusnad. The first
named is four hours' drive from Kronstadt. The
waters contain a great deal of protoxide of iron,
stronger even than those of Schwalbach, which they
resemble. Tusnad, I was told, is pleasantly situated
on the river Aluta, an excellent stream for fishing.
The post goes daily in eight hours from Kronstadt.
The season is very short, being over in August.
Tusnad is said to contain one hundred springs of
different kinds of water. I am not a water-totaller,
so I did not taste all of them when I visited the
place later on; but undoubtedly alum, iodine, and
iron do severally impregnate the various springs.
214 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
I remembered reading long ago Dr Daubeny s
work on "Volcanoes/' in which he says that Hun-
gary is one of the most remarkable countries in
Europe for the scale on which volcanic operation
has taken place. There are, it is stated, seven
well-marked mountain groups of volcanic rocks,
and two of these are in Transylvania. The most
interesting in many respects is the chain of hills
separating Szeklerland from Transylvania Proper.
It is within this district that most of the mineral
springs are found.
These volcanic rocks are of undoubted Tertiary
origin, say the geologists. The whole range is for
the most part composed of various kinds of trachytic
conglomerate. " From the midst of these vast
tufaceous deposits, the tops of the hills, composed
of trachyte, a rock which forms all the loftiest
eminences, here and there emerge. . . . The
trachyte is ordinarily reddish, greyish, or blackish ;
it mostly contains mica. In the southern parts,
as near Csik Szereda, the trachyte encloses large
masses, sometimes forming even small hillocks, of
that variety of which millstones are made, having
quartz crystals disseminated through it, and in
general indurated by silicious matter in so fine a
state of division that the parts are nearly invisible.
The latter substance seems to be the result of a
VOLCANIC CHARACTERISTICS. 215
kind of sublimation which took place at the moment
of the formation of the trachyte. . . . Distinct craters
are only seen at the southern extremity of the chain.
One of the finest observed by Dr Bone was to the
south of Tusnad. It was of great size and well
characterised, surrounded by pretty steep and lofty
hills composed of trachyte. The bottom of the
hollow was full of water. The ground near has a
very strong sulphureous odour. A mile to the SSE.
direction from this point there are on the tableland
two large and distinct maars like those of the
Eifel — that is to say, old craters, which have been
lakes, and are now covered with a thick coat of
marsh plants. The cattle dare not graze upon them
for fear of sinking in. Some miles farther in the
same direction is the well-known hill of Budoshegy
(or hill of bad smell), a trachytic mountain, near
the summit of which is a distinct rent, exhaling
very hot sulphureous vapours. . . . The craters
here described have thrown out a vast quantity of
pumice, which now forms a deposit of greater or
less thickness along the Aluta and the Marosch from
Tusnad to Toplitza. Impressions of plants and
some silicious wood are likewise to be found in it." 1
Since Dr Daubeny's time there have been many
1 A Description of Active and Extinct Volcanoes, by C. Daubeny,
p. 133. 1848.
21 G ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
observers over the same ground, the most dis-
tinguished being the Hungarian geologist Szab6,
professor at the University of Buda-Pest. A
countryman of our own has also taken up the
subject of the ancient volcanoes of Hungary, and
has recently published a paper on the subject-
Professor Judd has confined his remarks princi-
pally to the Schemnitz district in the north of
Hungary. But the following passage refers to
the general character of the formation. Professor
Judd says: 1 "The most interesting fact with regard
to the constitution of these Hungarian lavas, which
in the central parts of their masses are often found
to assume a very coarsely crystalline and almost
granitic character, while their outer portions pre-
sent a strikingly scoriaceous or slaggy appearance,
remains to be noticed. It is, that though the pre-
dominant felspar in them is always of the basic
type, yet they not unfrequently contain free
quartz, sometimes in very large proportion. This
free quartz is in some cases found to constitute
large irregular crystalline grains in the mass, just
like those of the ordinary orthoclase quartz-trachytes;
but at other times its presence can only be detected
by the microscope in thin sections. These quartz-
1 'On the Ancient Volcano of the District of Schemnitz, Hun-
gary/ Quarterly Journal, Geo. Soc, August 1876.
iferous andesites were by Stache, who first clearly
pointed out their true character, styled ' Dacites/
from the circumstance of their prevalence in Tran-
sylvania (the ancient Dacia)."
In concluding this highly instructive and interest-
ing memoir of the volcanic rocks of Hungary, Pro-
fessor Judd says : " The mineral veins of Hungary
and Transylvania, with their rich deposits of gold
and silver, cannot be of older date than the Miocene,
while some of them are certainly more recent than
the Pliocene. Hence these deposits of ore must all
have been formed at a later period than the clays
and sands on which London stands ; while in some
cases they appear to be of even younger date than
the gravelly beds of our crags ! "
For any one who desires to geologise in Hungary
and Transylvania there is abundant assistance to be
obtained in the maps which have been issued by the
Imperial Geological Institute of Vienna, under the
successive direction of Haidinger and Yon Hauer.
" These are geologically-coloured copies of the whole
of the 165 sheets of the military map of the empire ;
and these have been accompanied by most valuable
memoirs on the different districts, published in the
well-known ' Jahrbuch ' of the Institute. Franz
von Hauer has further completed a reduction of
these large-scale maps to a general map consisting
218 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
of twelve sheets, with a memoir descriptive of each,
and has finally in his most valuable and useful
work, ' Die G-eologie und ihre Anwendung auf die
Kenntniss der Bodenbeschaffenheit der Osterr-
ungar. Monarchic/ which is accompanied by a
single-sheet map of the whole country, summarised
in a most able manner the entire mass of informa-
tion hitherto obtained concerning the geology of the
I have given this passage from Mr Judd's paper
because there exists a good deal of misapprehension
amongst English travellers as to what has really been
done with regard to the geological survey of Austro-
A ride through Szeklerland — Warnings about robbers — Buksad — A
look at the sulphur deposits on Mount Biidos — A lonely lake —
An invitation to Tusnad.
Feeling curious not only about the geology of the
Szeklerland, but interested also in the inhabitants,
I resolved to pursue my journey by going through
what is called the Csik. I made all my arrange-
ments to start, but wet weather set in, and I re-
mained against my inclination at Kronstadt, for I
was impatient now to be moving onwards.
When I was in Hungary Proper they told me that
travelling in Transylvania was very dangerous, and
that it was a mad notion to think of going about
there alone. Now that I was in Transylvania, I was
amused at finding myself most seriously warned
against the risk of riding alone through the Szekler-
land. Every one told some fresh story of the in-
security of the roads. Curiously enough, foreigners
get off better than the natives themselves ; people of
indifferent honesty have been known to say, " One
220 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
would not rob a stranger." It happened to me that
one day when riding along — in this very Szekler-
land of ill-repute — I dropped my Scotch plaid, and
did not discover my loss till I arrived at the next
village, where I was going to sleep. I was much
vexed, not thinking for a moment that I should ever
see my useful plaid again. However, before the
evening was over, a peasant brought it into the inn,
saying he had found it on* the road, and it must
belong to the Englishman who was travelling about
the country. The finder would not accept any
There was a fair in the town the day I left Kron-
stadt. The field where it is held is right opposite
Hotel "No. 1," and the whole place was crowded
with country-folks in quaint costumes — spruce,
gaily-dressed people mixed up with Wallack cattle-
drivers and other picturesque rascals, such as
gipsies and Jews, and here and there a Turk, and,
more ragged than all, a sprinkling of refugee
Bulgarians. Though it was a scene of strange
incongruities — a very jumble of races — yet it was
by no means a crowd of roughs ; on the contrary,
the well-dressed, well-to-do element prevailed. The
thrifty Saxon was very much there, intent on
making a good bargain ; the neatly-dressed Szekler
walked about holding his head on his shoulders
TRAVELLING EQUIPMENT. 221
with an air of resolute self-respect — they are un-
mistakable, are these proud rustics. Many a
fair-haired Saxon maiden too tripped along, eyeing
askance the peculiar "get-up" of the Englishman
as he was about to mount his noble steed and ride
forth into the wilds. If I was amused by the
crowd, I believe the crowd was greatly amused
at my proceedings. Mine own familiar friend, I
verily believe, would have passed me by on the other
side, I cut so queer a figure. As usual on these
occasions, I had sent forward my portmanteau, this
time to Maros V^sarhely ; but everything else I
possessed I carried round about me and my horse
somehow, and I am not a man "who wants but
little here below."
Besides my toilette de voyage, I had my cook-
ing apparatus, a small jar of Liebig's meat, and
some compressed tea, and other little odds and ends
of comforts. I had also provided myself with some
bacon and slivovitz for barter, a couple of bottles of
the spirit being turned into a big flask slung along-
side of my lesser flask for wine. Nor was this all,
for having duly secured my saddle-bags, I had
the plaid and mackintosh rolled up neatly and
strapped in front of the saddle ; then my gun,
field-glass, and roll of three maps were slung across
my shoulders. Nota bene my pockets were full to
222 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
repletion. In my leathern belt was stuck a revolver,
handy, and a bowie-knife not far off.
But the portrait of this Englishman as he
appeared to the Kronstadt people on that day is
not yet complete. His legs were encased in Hessian
boots ; his shooting-jacket was somewhat the worse
for wear ; and his hat, which had been eminently
respectable at first starting, had acquired a sort of
brigandish air ; and to add to the drollery of his
general appearance, the excellent little Servian
horse he rode was not high enough for a man of his
With my weapons of offence and defence I
must have appeared a " caution" to robbers, and
it seems that the business of the fair was sus-
pended to witness my departure. I was profoundly
unconscious at the time of the public interest taken
in my humble self, but later I heard a very hum-
orous account of the whole proceeding from some
relatives who visited Kronstadt about three weeks
afterwards. I believe I am held in remembrance
in the town as a typical Englishman !
Well, to take up the thread of my narrative —
like Don Quixote, "I travelled all that day." If
any reader can remember Gustave Dore's illustration
of the good knight on that occasion, he will have
some idea of how the sky looked on this very ride of
STORM IN THE WILDS. 2*23
mine. As evening approached, the settled grey
clouds, which had hung overhead like a pall all
the afternoon, were driven about by a rough wind,
which went on rising steadily. The grim phantom-
haunted clouds came closer and closer round about
me as darkness grew apace, and now and then the
gust brought with it a vicious "spate" of rain.
With no immediate prospect of shelter, my position
became less and less lively. I had not bargained
for a night on the highroad, or lodgings in a dry
ditch or under a tree. Indeed those luxuries were
not at hand ; for trees there were none bordering
the road, or in the open fields which stretched away
on either side ; and as for a dry ditch, I heard the
streams gurgling along the watercourses, which
were full to overflowing, as well they might be,
seeing that it had rained for three days.
My object was to reach the village of Bliksad,
but where was Bliksad now in reference to myself ?
I had no idea it was such a devil of a way off when
I started. I had foolishly omitted to consult the
map for myself, and had just relied on what I was
told, though I might have remembered how loosely
country-people all the world over speak of time and
When at length the darkness had become per-
plexing — entre chien et loup, as the saying is — I
224 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
met a peasant with a fierce-looking sheep-dog by
his side. The brute barked savagely round me as if
he meant mischief, and I soon told the peasant if
he did not call off his dog directly I would shoot
him. He called his dog back, which proved he
understood German, so I then asked if I was any-
where near Buksad. To my dismay he informed me
that it was a long way off ; how long he would not
say, for without further parley he strode on, and he
and his dog were soon lost to view in the thick
Not a furlong farther, I came suddenly upon a
house by the roadside, and a man coming out of
the door with a light at the same moment enabled
me to see " Vendeglo " on a small signboard.
Good-luck : here, then, was an inn, where at least
shelter was possible ; and shelter was much to be
desired, seeing that the rain was now a steady down-
pour. On making inquiries, I found that I was
already in Buksad. The peasant had played off a
joke at my expense, or perhaps dealt me a Eoland
for an Oliver, for threatening to shoot his dog. A
paprika handl was soon prepared for me. In all
parts of the country where travellers are possible,
the invariable reply to a demand for something to
eat is the query, " Would the gentleman like pap-
rika handl V and he had better like it, for his
ST ANNAS LAKE. 225
chances are small of getting anything else. While
I was seeing after my horse, the woman of the inn
caught a miserable chicken, which I am sure could
have had nothing to regret in this life ; and in a
marvellously short time the bird was stewed in
red pepper, and called paprika handl.
I was aware that Count M owned a good
deal of property in the neighbourhood of Btiksad,
and as I had a letter of introduction to his bailiff, I
set off the next morning to find him. My object in
coming to this particular part of the country was
principally to explore that curious place Mount
Budos, mentioned by Dr Daubeny and others. I
wanted to see for myself what amount of sulphur
deposits were really to be found there. Count
M 's bailiff was very ready to be obliging, and
he provided me with a guide, and further provided
the guide with a horse, so that I had no difficulty
in arranging an expedition to the mount of evil
Having arranged the commissariat as usual, I
started one fine morning with my guide. We rode
for about two hours through a forest of majestic
beech-trees, and then came almost suddenly, without
any preparation, upon a beautiful mountain lake,
called St Anna's Lake. It lies in a hollow; the
hills around, forming cup-like sides, are clothed
226 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
with thick woods down to its very edge. Looking
down from above, I saw the green reflection of the
foliage penetrating the pellucid water till it met the
other heaven reflected below. The effect was very
singular, and gave one the idea of a lovely bit of
world and sky turned upside down ; it produced,
moreover, a sort of fascination, as if one must dive
down into its luring depths. No human sight or
sound disturbed the weird beauty of this lonely spot.
I longed at last to break the oppressive silence,
and I fired off my revolver. This brought down
a perfect volley of echoes, and at the same time,
from the highest crags, out flew some half-dozen
vultures ; they wheeled round for a few moments,
then disappeared behind the nearest crest of wood.
My guide soon set about making a fire ; and
while dinner was being cooked, I bethought me I
would have a bath. I took a header from a pro-
jecting rock, but I very soon made the best of my
way out of the water again. It was icy cold ; I
hardly ever recollect feeling any water so cold — I
suppose because the lake is so much in shadow.
After the meal we pushed on to Budos, another
two hours of riding ; this time through a forest so
dense that we could scarcely make our way. At
last we reached a path, and this brought us before
long to a roughly-constructed log-hut. This, I was
MOUNT BUDOS. 227
told, was the " summer hotel." Further on there
were a few more log-huts, the " dependence " of the
hotel itself. The bathing season was over, so hosts
and guests had alike departed. This must be
" roughing it " with a vengeance, I should say ; but
my guide told me that very "high-born" people
came here to be cured.
It is a favourite place, too, for some who desire
the last cure of all for life's ills ; a single breath of
the gaseous exhalations is death. One cleft in the
hill is called the " Murderer;" so fatal are the fumes
that even birds flying over it are often known to
drop dead ! The elevation of .Mount Budos is only
3800 feet; there are several caves immediately
below the highest point. The principal cave is ten
feet high and forty feet long, the interior being
lower than the opening. A mixture of gases is
exhaled, which, being heavier than the atmosphere,
fills it up to the level of the entrance ; and when the
sun is shining into the cave, one can see the
gaseous fumes swaying to and fro, owing to the
difference of refraction.
I experienced a sensation which has often been
noticed here before. On entering the cave, and
standing for some minutes immersed in the gas, but
with my head above it, I had the feeling of warmth
pervading the lower limbs. I might have believed
228 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
myself to be in a warm bath up to the chest. This
is a delusion, however, for the gaseous exhalation is
pronounced by experimenters to be cooler, if any-
thing, than the air ; I suppose they mean the air of
an ordinary summer day. The walls of the cave
are covered with a deposit of sulphur, and at the
extreme end drops of liquid are continually falling.
This moisture is esteemed very highly for disease
of the eyes ; it is collected by the peasants. The
gas-baths are resorted to by persons suffering from
gout or rheumatism. They are taken in this
manner : The patient wears a loose dress over
nothing else, and arriving at the mouth of the
cave, he must take one long breath. Instantly
he runs into the dread cavern, remaining only
as long as he can hold his breath ; he then
rushes back again. One single inhalation, and
he would be as dead as a door-nail ! How the
halt and lame folk manage I don't know, but my
guide was eloquent about the wonderful cures that
are made here every year.
There are a variety of mineral springs in differ-
ent parts of the mountain. At the source some
have the appearance of boiling, from the quantity
of carbonic acid gas given off; but it is only in
appearance, for the water is very cold.
The springs which yield iron and carbonic acid
SULPHUR CAVES. 229
are much used for drinking. There are also some
primitive arrangements for bathing near by. A
square hole is cut in the ground ; this is boarded
round, and a simple wooden shed, like a gigantic
dish-cover, is put over it. Here again my guide
said that miraculous cures are wrought annually. It
is a wonder that anybody is left with an ache or a
pain in a country which has such wonderful waters.
I think my guide thought I was a doctor, who was
searching for a new health-resort, and he was quite
ready to do his share of the puffing.
On Mount Budos itself, in other parts than the
cave, there occurs a good deal of sulphur ; specimens
are often found distributed which are very rich
indeed. The place certainly deserves a thorough
exploration, with a view to utilising the sulphur
deposits ; but it is so overgrown with vegetation
that the search would involve considerable trouble
There is a fine view from Mount Budos towards
Moldavia. I was fortunate in having good lights
and shades, and therefore enjoyed the prospect most
thoroughly. I should like to have remained
longer on the summit, but not being prepared for
camping out it was not possible ; so very re-
luctantly we set about returning.
My guide led me back to Biiksad by another
230 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
route, a rough road, with deep ruts and big stones
that must make driving in any vehicle, except for
the honour and glory of it, a very doubtful blessing.
But bad roads never do seem to matter in Hungary.
Everybody drives everywhere ; they would drive over
a glacier if they had one. Occasionally we came
upon some charming bits of forest scenery. The
trees were grand, especially the beech ; they were
of greater girth than any I had yet seen in
Transylvania. I noticed many mineral springs
by the roadside ; one could distinguish them by
the deposit of oxide of iron on the stones near by.
When I got back to Buksad, I found the bailiff
waiting to tell me that Count M and Baron
A desired their compliments, and would be
pleased to see me at Tusnad, if I would go over
there. I had no introduction to these noblemen,
and mention the invitation as an instance of
Hungarian hospitality. They had simply heard
that an Englishman was travelling about the
I rode over to Tusnad the following day, and
found it, as I had been led to expect, a very
picturesque little place, a number of Swiss
cottages dropped down in the clearing of the
forest, with a good " restauration," built by Count
M himself. When I was there the season
was over ; but I am told that it is full of fashion-
ables in June and July, and that the waters have
an increasing reputation. My attention was drawn
to the singular fact of two springs bubbling up
within six feet of each other, which are proved
by chemical analysis to be distinctly different
in composition. I fancy Count M was
much amused at the fact of an English gentle-
man travelling about alone on horseback, without
any servants or other impedimenta. I remember
a friend of mine telling me that once in Italy,
when he declined to hire a carriage from a peasant
at a perfectly exorbitant price, and said he preferred
walking, the fellow called after him, saying, " We all
know you English are mad enough for anything ! "
I don t know whether the Hungarian Count drew
the same conclusion in my case, but I could see he
was very much amused ; I don't think any other
people understand the Englishman's love of ad-
The baths of Tusnad — The state of affairs before 1848 — Inequality
of taxation — Reform — The existing land laws — Communal pro-
perty — Complete registration of titles to estates — Question of
I mixed exclusively in Hungarian society during my
stay at the baths of Tusnad. With Baron
and Herr von I talked politics by the hour.
The Hungarians have the natural gift of eloquence.
They pour forth their words like the waters of a
mill-race, no matter in what language. My prin-
cipal companion at Tusnad spoke French. The true
Magyar will always employ that language in pre-
ference to German when speaking with a foreigner ;
but as often as not the Hungarians of good society
speak English perfectly well. The younger gene-
ration, almost without exception, understand our
language, and are extremely well read in English
I had so recently left Saxonland, where public
opinion is opposed to everything that has the
faintest shade of Magyarism, that I felt in the
HUNGARY BEFORE 1848. 233
state of Victor Hugo's hero, of whom he said,
''Son orientation etait changee, ce qui avait ete le
couchant etait le levant. II s'etait retourne." The
transition was certainly curious, but I confess to
getting rather tired of the mutual recriminations
of political parties ; respecting each other s good
qualities, they are simply colour-blind.
After the Saxons had been allowed to drop out
of the conversation, I led my Magyar friend to
talk of the state of things before 1848, and to
enlighten me as to the existing condition of laws
of property. My Hungarian — who, by the way,
is a man well qualified to speak about legal
matters — showered down upon me a perfect ava-
lanche of facts. Leaving out a few patriotic
flashes, the substance of what he . told me was
much as follows. I had especially asked about
the recent legislation on the land question.
" In the old time, before '48, the State, the
Church, and the Nobles were the sole landowners.
The holding of land was strictly prohibited to all
who were not noble ; but to the peasants were
allotted certain tracts, called for distinction ' ses-
sion-lands/ For this privilege the peasant had to
give up a tenth part of the produce to the lord,
and besides he had to work for him two, and in
some cases even three, days in the week. The
234 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
robot, or forced labour, varied in different
localities. The lord was judge over his tenants,
and even his bailiff had the right of administering
twenty-five lashes to insubordinate peasants. The
time of the forced labour was at the option of the
lord, who might oblige his tenant to give his term
of labour consecutively during seed-sowing or
harvest, at the very time that the peasant's own
land required his attendance. It may easily be
imagined that this was a fruitful cause of dispute
between the lord and his serfs.
" But the most glaring act of injustice under
the old system was that all the taxes were paid
by the session-holding peasantry, while the nobles
were privileged and tax-free. They absolutely con-
tributed nothing to the revenue of the country in
the way of direct taxes !
"This peculiarity of the Constitution made it the
interest of the Crown to preserve the area of the
tax-paying peasant-land against the encroachments
of the tax-free landlord. It often happened that
on the death or removal of a peasant-holder the
lord would choose to absorb the session-land
into the allodium, which, being tax-free, resulted
in a loss to the imperial revenue. To prevent
this absorption of session-lands by the landlord,
and also to accommodate the burdens of the
THE URBARIAL CONSCRIPTION. 235
peasantry, which had become almost intolerable
in the last century, owing to the tyranny of the
feudal superiors — to prevent this, I repeat, a general
memorial survey with a view to readjustment took
place in 1767 by command of Maria Theresa.
" This very important settlement, which came to
be known as the 'Urbarial Conscription/ laid
down and defined the rights and services of the
peasants, and the amount of land to be held by
them. The nobles henceforth were obliged to find
new tenants of the peasant class in the event of the
' session-lands ' becoming vacant. Likewise their
unjust impositions on the serfs were restricted, and
the rights of the latter, in respect to wood-cutting
and pasturage on the lord's lands, were established
" This was all very well as far as it went," said
my friend ; " but the inequality of taxation and the
forced labour were crying evils not to be endured in
the nineteenth century. Our people who travelled
in England and elsewhere came back imbued with
new ideas. We in Transylvania assume the credit
of taking the lead in liberal politics. Baron Wes-
selenyi was one of the first to advise a radical
reform, and others — Count Bethlen, Baron Kemeny,
and Count Teleki — were all agreed as to the neces-
sity of bringing about the manumission of the serfs.
236 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
It .is an old story now. I am speaking of the
third and fourth decades of the century, and political
excitement was at white-heat. The extreme views
of Wesselenyi raised a host of opponents among his
own class, who regarded the prospect of reform as
nothing short of class suicide. Everything else might
go to the devil as long as they retained their pri-
vileges ; the devil, however, is apt to make a clean
sweep of the board when he has got the game in his
own hands, but these noble wiseacres could not see
that. In other parts of the country good men and
true were working up the leaven of reform. The
great patriot Szechenyi, as long ago as 1830, when
he published his work on ' Credit/ had shown his
countrymen their shortcomings. He had proved to
them that their laws and their institutions were not
marching with the spirit of the age ; that, in short,
the i rights of humanity ' called for justice. What
this truly great man did for the material improve-
ment of his country could hardly be told between
sunrise and sundown. You practical English
were our teachers and our helpers in those days,
when bridges had to be built, roads to be made, and
steam navigation set up in our rivers. English
horses were brought over to improve the breed
in Hungary, and English agricultural machinery
still turns out treasure-trove from our fields. But
THE CONSTITUTION. 237
beyond all this, what we saw and admired in
England's history was her constitutional struggles
for liberty ; the efforts made by freedom within
the pale of the law ; her capacity, in short, for self-
reform. You see how it is, my dear sir, that every-
thing English is so popular with us in Hungary.''
I bowed my acknowledgments, and begged my
friend to proceed with his narrative of events.
" Well, to go back to our own history," he con-
tinued, in a tone which had in it a shade of
melancholy, "you see from 1823 to the eve of
1848 the Diet had been tinkering at reform in a
half-hearted sort of way, but the Paris revolution
let loose the whirlwind, and events were precipi-
tated. I need not tell you there was a standing
quarrel between us and the reactionary rulers in
Vienna. It was the deceitful policy of Austria to
bring about a temporary show of agreement between
us. The Archduke Stephen was appointed Viceroy,
assisted by a council composed entirely of Hun-
garians. Now mark this turning-point in our
: history. The first Act of this Diet, presided over
I by Count Batthyanyi, was to abolish at one sweep
the class privileges of the nobility. Roundly
speaking, eight millions of serfs received their
freedom by that Act ! Nor was this all, the im-
portant part remains to be told — and I do not
238 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
think foreigners always realise it — the Act fur-
ther enforced that the session-lands held by the
peasants became henceforth their freehold property.
Half, or nearly half, the kingdom thus, by the
voluntary concession of the nobles, became con-
verted from a feudal tenure, burdened with duties,
into an absolute freehold.
" Like every sudden change, the result was not
unmixed good. The Wallacks especially were not
prepared for their emancipation ; they thought
equality before the law meant equality of goods."
I now inquired how the working of the land laws
was carried out, and to this my friend replied : —
"As a lawyer I can give you an exact state-
ment in a few words. The disturbed state of
the country after the war of independence, which
followed immediately upon the emancipation of the
serfs, prevented for a while the effective realisa- i
tion of the great reform of '48. However, in 1853
several imperial decrees were promulgated, by
means of which the changed system was worked
out in detail. ' Urbarial courts ' were instituted to
inquire into the amount of compensation due to
the lords of the manors who had lost the tithes
and the ' forced labour' of the former serfs. To
meet this compensation ' State urbarial bonds '
were created and apportioned ; they bear five per
THE LAND LAWS. 239
cent, interest, and are redeemable within eighty
years, with two drawings annually. The fund for
this compensation is raised by a special tax on
every Hungarian subject ; not only the freed
peasant pays towards the fund, but the lord him-
self, and those who never had any feudal tenants.
" The peasants had also to receive their compen-
sation for the loss of pasturage and the right of
cutting wood on the lord's demesne. In lieu of
these privileges they received allotments of forest
and pasturage as absolute property. The land thus
acquired by the peasants is in fact parish property,
or in other words, communal property. This is
the only instance in which the parish appears as
landowner, for all other peasant property, with the
exception of the parish buildings, such as the school,
is the property of the respective peasants. The
parish authorities regulate the usage of the common
pasturage and common forest. The sale or cutting
down of the latter is subject to the permission of
the county authorities."
I now proceeded to question my friend about
the laws respecting the transfer of land, and
especially about the registration of titles of estate.
To these inquiries he replied as follows : —
" Land in Hungary is the absolute property of
that person, or corporate body, who appears as
240 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
owner in the registry. A limitation of claim to
ownership does not exist with us ; indeed it is con-
trary to the law. The Avitische Patent of 1854
prescribed further that every one should be regarded
as the rightful owner who actually held the pro-
perty in 1848 — i.e., the status quo of 1848 to be
accepted as the basis. The Urbarium of Maria
Theresa was, in short, the stand-point in all these
arrangements, whether it was the sessional lands
of tenants formerly held in hereditary use, now
freehold, or the allodium of the noble. Imme-
diately succeeding the Avitische Patent, the regis-
tration of land was made law, in. conformity with
which all estates had been surveyed and entered
on the registry as belonging to those owners who
possessed the same in consequence of the above-
" But how about disputed inheritance-lands held
by mortgagees, and other contingencies always
arising in regard to estates VI asked.
" I am sorry to say that dreadful cases of in-
justice were caused by this enactment. Whole
families were reduced to beggary, and the greatest
rascals obtained possession by this law of enormous
estates, simply because they happened to hold the
land in 1848, and the rightful owner did not
advance his claim within the prescribed time. The
ENTAILED ESTATES. 241
evil could not be redressed, and in 1861, when
the Hungarian Constitution was reinstated, the
Diet of that year was obliged to accept and con-
firm the Avitische Patent, and the registration
of land as directly following it. The grievances
are past, but the benefit remains to us and our
children. In Hungary at the present time the
transfer of land is as simple as buying or selling
the registered shares of a railway company. The
registry forms the basis of every transaction con-
nected with landed property, and, as we lawyers
say, what is not entered there non est in mundo.
Mortgages must be set down against the registered
title. Contracts of leases are also entered, and in
the case of farms being taken, caution-money,
amounting generally to a quarter's rent, must be
deposited with the authorities/'
" One more question. Are there no entailed
estates amongst your aristocracy ? "
" Very few, indeed, even among the richest aris-
tocracy. An Act of entailment can, it is true, be
founded, but it is rarely permitted, being looked
upon with disfavour for reasons of political
economy. Such an Act would require in any
case the special permission of the sovereign and of
Government; and then the estate is placed under
a special court. Without special permission from
242 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
this court neither an alteration of the Act can
take place, nor is sale or mortgage allowed. Hun-
garian law also interposes some restrictions in the
case of a testator, w T ho must leave by will at least
half his property to his children. And with regard
to women, the law with us is specially careful to
preserve a woman's legal existence after marriage."
Fine scenery in Szeklerland — Csik Szent Marton — Absence of inns
— The Szekler's love of lawsuits — Csik Szereda — Hospitality
along the road — Wallack atrocities in 1848 — The Wallacks not
The charming scenery of the Szeklerland, and the
kindly hospitality of the people, induced me to
linger on. I had many a ride through those
glorious primeval forests, where the girth of the
grand old oak-trees and their widespreading
branches are in themselves a sight to see : the
beech, too, are very fine. Climbing farther, the
deciduous woods give place to sombre pine-trees —
the greybeards of the mountain. A great charm in
this part of the country, at least from a picturesque
point of view, is the affluence of water. Every rocky
glen has its gurgling rill, every ravine its stream,
which, at an hour's notice almost, may become a
mountain torrent, should a storm break over the
watershed. A plague of waters is no unfrequent
occurrence, as the farmer in the valley knows to his
cost. Fields are laid under water, and the turbu-
244 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
lent streams often bring down great masses of earth
and rock in a way that becomes " monotonous" for
the man who has to clear his land or his roads of
the debris. Mr Judd remarks that the volcanic
rocks of Hungary have " suffered enormously from
denuding causes." Every fresh storm reminds one
that the process is in active operation.
After finally leaving Tusnad, I rode on to Csik
Szent Marton, where, as there was no inn, I had to
present myself at the best house in the place and
crave their hospitality. My request was taken as
a matter of course, and they received me with the
greatest kindness ; in fact it was with great diffi-
culty that I could get away the next day. My host
entreated me to remain longer, and when he found
that I was really bent on departing, he gave me
several letters of introduction to friends of his along
the road I was likely to travel. It was a very
acceptable act of kindness, for there are hardly any
inns in this part of the country. " If Transylvania
is an odd corner of Europe," then is the Csik or
Szeklerland a still more odd corner; by no possi-
bility can it ever be the highroad to anywhere else.
I am not surprised that my lawyer friend said that
there were still some lawsuits pending in connec-
tion with the allotments of forest and pasturage in
this part of Hungary, though everything was defi-
THE SZEKLERS. 245
nitely settled elsewhere. The Szekler is as trouble-
some and turbulent in some respects as his own
mountain streams ; added to which he dearly loves
a lawsuit : it is in the eyes of the peasant a patent
of respectability, as keeping a gig formerly was
" Why do you go to law about such a trifle ?"
observed a friend of mine to his neighbour.
" Well, you see I have never had a lawsuit, as
all my neighbours have had about something or
another ; so, now there is the chance, I had better
have one myself ! "
It is well for the lawyers that there is "a good
deal of human nature" everywhere, especially in
Hungary, otherwise they would have a bad time
of it, where the legal expenses of " transfer " are a
few florins, whether it be for an acre of vineyard
or for half a comitat. I must observe, however,
that in the sale of lands or houses, Government
intervenes with a heavy tax on the transaction.
Leaving my hospitable entertainers at Csik
Szent Marton, I went on to Csik Szereda, where I
was kindly taken in by the postmaster. In this case
I was provided with a letter ; but a stranger would
naturally go to the postmaster or the clergyman
to ask for a night's lodging. At first I felt diffi-
dent on this score ; but I soon got over my shyness,
246 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
for in Szeklerland they make a stranger so heartily
welcome that he ceases to regard himself as an
intruder. In out-of-the-way places one is looked
upon as a sort of heaven-sent " special correspon-
dent." There is a story told of Baron — ■ — , one of
the nearly extinct old-fashioned people, who regu-
larly, an hour or so before the dinner-hour, rides
along the nearest highroad to try and catch a guest.
It has even been whispered that on one occasion a
couple of intelligent-looking travellers, who declined
to be " retained " for dinner, were severely beaten
for their recalcitrant behaviour, by order of the
hospitable Baron. The story is well founded, and
I daresay took place before '48, when anything might
I can bear witness that I have never myself been
ill-treated for declining Hungarian hospitality, but
when in Saxonland something very much the reverse
occurred to me. I once entered a village at the end
of a long day's ride, and stopping at the first house,
asked for a night's lodging, whereupon I was told
to ask at the next house. They said they could not
take me in, excusing themselves on the score of an
important domestic event being expected. I went
on a little farther, though the "shades of night were
falling fast," and repeated my request at the next
house. I give you my word, there were more
THE SZEKLERS. 247
domestic events — always the same excuse. I began
to calculate that the population must be rapidly on
the increase in that place. It was too much. I
entered the last house of that straggling village with
a stern resolve that not even new-born twins should
bar my claim to hospitality !
I found the postmaster at Csik Szereda a very in-
telligent man, with a fund of anecdotes and recollec-
tions, which generally centred in the troubles of '48.
As I mentioned before, the Szeklers rose en masse
against the Austrians. One of their officers, Colonel
Alexander Gal, proved himself a very distinguished
leader. Corps after corps were organised and sent
to aid General Bern. " It was a terrible time ; the
men had to fight the enemy in the plain while our
old men and women defended their homesteads
against the jealous Saxons and the brutal Wallacks."
It was not in one place, or from one person, but
from every one with whom I spoke on the sub-
ject, that I heard frightful stories of Wallack atro-
cities. In one instance a noble family — in all,
thirteen persons, including a new-born infant — were
slaughtered under circumstances of horrible bar-
barity within the walls of their castle. The name
I think was Bardi ; it is matter of history.
Amongst other horrors, the Wallacks on several
occasions buried their victims alive, except the head,
248 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
which they left above ground; they would then
hurl stones at the unfortunate creatures, or cut off
the heads with a scythe. It was not a war of
classes but of race, for the poor peasants amongst
the Magyars and Szeklers fared just as badly at the
hands of the infuriated Wallacks as the nobles.
The belief is still held that the Vienna Govern-
ment instigated the outbreak. Certainly arms had
been put into the hands of these uncivilised hordes
under the pretence of organising a sort of militia.
Metternich knew the character of these irregulars,
as he had known and proved the character of the
Slovacks in Galicia in the terrible rising of the serfs
in 1846. His complicity on that occasion has never
The winter of 1848-49 must have been a time of
unexampled misery to the Magyars of Transylvania.
The nobles generally dared not remain in their lonely
chateaux ; it was not a question of bravery, for how
could the feeble members who remained home from
the war guard the castle from the torches of a hun-
dred frantic, yelling wretches, who, with arms in
their hands, spared neither age nor sex ? For the
time they were mad — these Eastern people are sub-
ject to terrible epidemics of frenzy !
The Szekler town of Maros Vasarhely, which was
strong enough to keep the Wallacks at bay, was the
maros vaMrhely. 249
sanctuary of the noble ladies and children of that
part of Transylvania. It was so full of fugitives that
the overcrowding was most distressing. A lady, the
bearer of an historic name, told me herself that she
and seven of her family passed the whole winter in
one small room in Maros Vasa^rhely. Added to the
discomfort and insalubrity of this crowding, they
were almost penniless, having nothing but " Kossuth
money." For the time the sources of their income
were entirely arrested. In this instance one of the
children died — succumbed to bad air and privation.
Another patrician dame kept her family through the
winter by selling the vegetables from her garden ;
this together with seventeen florins in silver was all
they had to depend upon. Add to this the misery
of not hearing for weeks, perhaps even for months,
from their husbands or sons, who were with the
armies of Gorgey or Bern.
The Magyars were not always safe in the
towns, for at Nagy Enyed, a rather considerable
place, the Wallacks succeeded in setting fire to it,
and butchered all the inhabitants who were not
fortunate enough to escape their fury. In the
neighbourhood of Eeps the castles of the nobility
suffered very severely. Grim incidents were told
me, things that were too horrible not to be true —
infants spiked and women tortured. One cannot
250 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
dwell upon the details ! What struck me as
very remarkable was the fact that Magyars and
Wallacks are now dwelling together again in peace
side by side. It reminds one of the people who
plant their vines again on Vesuvius directly an
eruption is over. In the last century, in 1784,
there was a dreadful outbreak of the Wallacks.
Individually they are really not bad fellows — so
it seemed to me — and one hears of fewer murders
among them than perhaps in Ireland. The danger
exists of leaders arising who may stir up the
nationality fever — the idea of the great Roumain
nation that looms big in their imagination !
They love neither Croatians, Slavonians, nor
Austrians, and they are no longer a safe card to
play off against the Magyars ; but indeed I would
fain believe that better and wiser counsels now
prevail. Austria is not the Austria of ? 48, any
more than the England of to-day is the same as
England before the Eeform Bill.
The autumn evenings were getting long, and after
supper, as I sat smoking my pipe by the stove in
the simple but scrupulously neat apartment of my
host, he, in his turn, asked me about England. It
is very touching the warmth with which these
people in the far-off " land beyond the forest" speak
of us. " We never can forget how kindly England
HUNGARIAN RESPECT FOR PALMERSTON. 251
received our patriots/' This, or words like it, were
said to me many times, and always the name of
Palmerston came to the fore. " He cordially
hated the Austrians." What better ground of
Ride to Szent Domokos — Difficulty about quarters — Interesting host
— Jewish question in Hungary — Taxation — Financial matters.
From Szerecla I went to Szent Domokos. It was ai
long ride, and I was again nearly benighted. How-|
ever, I reached my destination this time just as the!
last streak of daylight had departed.
I had some difficulty in making the people I met
understand that I wanted the postmasters house.
No one, it appeared, could speak a word of German. |
At length I found the place ; but a new difficulty!
arose. The postmaster, it seemed, was away, as far
as I could make out from his wife. She seemed I
greatly puzzled, not to say alarmed, at seeing am
armed horseman ride up, who demanded hospitality;:
and I daresay she was the more puzzled at not'
being able "to place me," as the Yankees say, for
she asked me if I was a Saxon, an Austrian, on
a Turk ? My appearance, I suppose, was rather ■
uncouth and alarming. She was young and very
pretty — an Armenian, I learned afterwards. These'
THE POST-HOUSE INVADED. 253
women are apt to have Oriental notions about men,
and she was evidently afraid to ask me in.
There was I, with my tired horse, completely up
a tree. I thought to myself, I cannot stay in the
street, so pushing my way through a sort of court-
yard, I found out what appeared to be the stable.
This I took possession of, all the time making the
most polite bows and gestures, for we hardly under-
stood a word of each other's language. There was
no help for it, I must make myself at home. I put
the horse up, I relieved him of his saddle and
saddle-bags, and seeing a bucket and a well not
far off, I fetched some water. By this time the
young woman had called in some neighbours, and
I could see them watching me from behind the
half-closed doors and windows. I must observe I
had lighted my own lantern that I always carried
with me, so that my proceedings were made quite
visible to the cautious spectators. They never
attempted to interfere with me, and I went on
doing my work quietly and unostentatiously. The
position was ludicrous in the highest degree !
While I was yet foraging for my horse's supper,
by good-luck in came the postmaster. He spoke
German, and I was soon able to make all square.
He was as civil as possible, offering me at once the
hospitality of his roof, which in fact I had already
254 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
assumed. I saw he was very anxious to remove
the unpleasant impression of his wife's mistake.
He bade me welcome many times over, he thanked
me for the honour I did him in offering to sleep
under his humble roof, and further persisted in
calling me " Herr Lord." It was in vain that I
corrected him on this point. " I was an English-
man, therefore I must be a * Herr Lord/ and there
was an end of it."
When Mr Boner was travelling in Szeklerland
he was also, nolens volens, raised to the peerage, so
I suppose it is a settled conviction of the people
that we are all lords in Great Britain.
We had for supper a capital filet (Hours from a
bear that had been shot only two days before.
I enjoyed my supper immensely ; the wine was as
good as the food. My pretty hostess laughed a
good deal over the false alarm my appearance had
created. Her husband interpreted between us, but
I promised to learn Hungarian before I paid them
another visit. My host proved himself to be a
very intelligent man ; I had an exceedingly inter-
esting conversation with him after supper. He
complained bitterly of the heavy pressure of tax-
ation, saying that Government ought to manage
things more economically, for that every year now
there was a deficit.
WANTS OF HUNGARY. 255
" Yet your country is rich in natural resources,
as rich almost as France, barring her advantages of
" Yes, we have wealth under the soil," he replied,
" and what we want is capital to develop our
resources. Herein Austria has stood in our way ;
you know the old policy of Austria, as far back
as Maria Theresa's time, which was to make
Hungary Catholic, to make her poor, and to turn
her people into Germans. This last they will never
do ; but they have succeeded in their second
project only too well. They have made us poor
enough, they have discouraged manufactures and
industries of every kind. We wish for free trade,
but Austria is opposed to it. The manufactures
of Bohemia must be nursed, and accordingly we
are made to suffer. We want to be brought into
contact with our customers in Western Europe ; we
want, in fact, to get our trade out of the hands of
" I wish to ask you your candid opinion about
the Jews. Some people say they are the curse of the
country; others again, that Hungarian commerce
would be nowhere without them."
" I will tell you what happens," replied my friend,
evading a direct answer to my latter observation.
"A wretched Jew comes into this village, or some
256 KOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
other place — it does not matter, it is always the
same story. He comes probably from Galicia as
poor as a rat, he settles himself in the village, and
sells slivovitz on credit to the foolish peasant, who,
besotted with drink and debt, gets into his meshes ;
in the end, the Jew having sucked the blood of his
victims, possesses himself of their little property,
finds himself the object of universal hatred, and
then he moves on. He makes a fresh start in
some other place, beginning on a higher rung of
the ladder ; and you will find him sitting in the
highest seats before he has done."
" If your people were less of spendthrifts and
managed their affairs themselves, then the Jews
would cease to find a harvest amongst you."
" Yes, that is true," he answered; " but we are not
practical; we do not organise well. The Jew always
manages to be the middle-man between ourselves
and the consumers."
" But without the Jew you would perhaps not
even get so near to the consumer," I observed
My host puffed out a volume of smoke, and after
a pause observed, before he placed his pipe again
between his lips, " In this part of the country, in
the Szeklerland, the better class of merchants are
nearly all Armenians."
Apropos of the tax question, I have looked into
the matter since, and I am rather surprised to find
the proportion not so heavy as I thought ; on the
whole population it is about £1 a-head — certainly less
than is borne by many other states. In England,
I believe, we are taxed at over £2 a-head. Then,
again, it is true that since 18%0 there has been an
annual deficit, and the equilibrium of income and
expenditure can hardly be counted upon just yet;
still things are moving in the right direction. The
Hungarians have been reproached for managing
their finances badly since the compromise with
Austria in 1867, when the revenue came exclusively
under their own control. But in answer they say,
that having so lately entered the community of
states, they found themselves in the position of a
minor who comes into house and lands that have
need of every sort of radical repair and improve-
ment. Hungary has had to spend heavily upon
road-making, bridges, railroads, sanatory and other
economic improvements, and very heavily for recti-
fication of the course of the Danube ; in fact they
have ambitiously set themselves too much to do in
the time. They have rendered Buda-Pest, with its
magnificent river embankments, one of the finest
capitals in Europe. The Magyar does everything
with a degree of splendour that savours of the
258 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Oriental. They know not the meaning of the homely
adage which tells a man to " cut his coat according
to his cloth."
Added to the pressure of accumulated expenses,
Hungary has had a succession of bad harvests — she
has been passing through the seven lean years. The
last season has shown, however, a decided improve-
ment, so we may hope the bad corner is turned.
I am informed that this year the schedule for un-
paid — viz., arrears of — taxes is completely wiped
off. Then, again, the income-tax in the space of
five years ending 1874 increased from 5,684,000
florins to 27,650,000 florins !
The financial account of the current year is re-
assuring. At the sitting of the Hungarian Diet on
the 30th October, 1 the minister, in presenting the
estimates for 1878, said that in 1876 and 1877 the
expenditure had been reduced by £1,250,000. It
was not possible to continue at the same rate, and
the net reduction next year would be £360,000. It
is true the deficit of 1877 is £1,600,000, a suffi-
ciently grave sum ; but to judge the position fairly
it is necessary to look at the budgets of former
years. In 1874, "in consequence of rather too
hasty investment of money in railways and other
1 ' Hungarian Finances,' the Times, October 31, 1877.
public works," the deficit was £6,000,700 ; in 1876
it had fallen to £3,100,000. The present year,
therefore, shows a steady reduction of those ugly
figures at the wrong side of the national account.
Copper mine of Balanbanya — Miners in the wine-shop — Ride to
St Miklos — Visit to an Armenian family — Capture of a robber
— Cold ride to the baths of Borsek.
Having expressed a wish to see the copper mine at
Balanbanya, which is some five miles from Szent
Domokos, my host proposed to drive me over the
next morning. "When the morning came the weather
looked most unpromising ; there was a steady down-
pour, without any perceptible break in the clouds in
any quarter. I had made up my mind to go, and
as after the noonday meal it cleared slightly, we
started. The mud was nearly up to the axletree of
our cart. After driving some time we reached a
wild and rather picturesque valley, in which rises
the Alt, or, as it is called when it reaches Eoumania,
the Aluta. The course of this stream is singularly
tortuous, winding about through rocks and defiles,
often changing its direction, and finally making a
way for itself through the Carpathian range.
As we approached the copper mine it had all
the appearance of a volcano, for a heavy cloud of
BALANBANYA COPPER MINE. 2G1
smoke hung over the spot like a canopy. This mine
has been worked for many years ; formerly it paid
well, but now it is in the hands of a company, who
are working at a loss, if I could believe what I was
I have repeatedly noticed in Hungary that people
commit themselves to works of this kind without
the technical knowledge necessary to carry them on
successfully. The necessary capital, too, is gener-
ally wanting to bring these mining operations to a
successful issue ; added to this the managers are
often not conspicuous for their honesty.
I went over these works, and gave particular
attention to the refinery. Some of the processes
for collecting the metal are ingeniously simple
and effective. The copper-ore is remarkably pure,
being, it is said, free from arsenic and antimony.
The concern ought to pay, for the copper is so
well esteemed that it obtains the best price in the
After inspecting the place, we went into the inn
to have some supper, and while there, several miners
came in. I had heard that they were renowned
for their mining songs down in these parts, so I
made friends with the men and begged them to
sing. After a little persuasion and a refilling of
glasses they began.
2G2 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The music of their songs was very mournful,
and the words equally so, descriptive of the
dangers the poor miner had to encounter in search-
ing for ore in the gloomy depths of the earth. I
believe my companion, the postmaster, was very
puzzled to understand what could interest me in
these rough miners. The scene was exceedingly
picturesque ; for some six or eight of these stalwart
fellows, with skin and clothes reddened by the
earth, sat by a long table, each with his flask of
wine before him, while the flicker of an oil-lamp
threw its yellow light over the group. One of
the men spoke German, and with him I talked.
He had elicited from me the fact of my being an
Englishman, whereupon he asked me a variety of
questions about our mines and our forests. Finally
he inquired whether our bears were as large as
theirs. When I told him we had none he could
not credit it, saying, "But you must have bears
on the frontier?" When I explained that we lived
upon an island he seemed much surprised. I saw
that his natural politeness prevented his saying
what was in his mind, but it was evident he
thought that if the English lived in an island
they could not be such a great people after all.
Not wishing to put my host to expense, more
especially as the expedition was undertaken solely
A POINT OF HONOUR. 263
for my benefit and at my suggestion, I paid the
score at the Balanbanya Inn without saying any-
thing. I was very vexed to find, however, that
by doing so I had offended my companion very
much. He reminded me that I was a stranger in
Szeklerland and his guest, and it was contrary
to all his ideas of hospitality that I should be
the paymaster. Instead of starting homewards,
as we were ready to do, he ordered more wine
and some sardines, being the greatest delicacy the
house afforded. I was obliged to make a show of
partaking of something more, though I had amply
supped. For these extras of course my friend paid,
but he was only half appeased, and was never
quite the same again.
The following morning I left the house of my
too-hospitable entertainers. My destination now
was St Miklos. My road thither lay through a
pine-forest, as lonely a tract as could well be
imagined, for there were no signs whatever of
human habitations. Certainly the weird solitude
of a pine-wood is more impressive than any other
kind of forest scenery. Under the impervious
shade and the long grey vistas, one moves forward
with something of a superstitious feeling, as though
one were intruding into the sanctuary of unseen
spirits. I cannot say that I was a prey to such
264 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
idle fancies, for the spirits I was likely to meet
would be very tangible enemies. This district had
a bad reputation, owing to several robberies hav-
ing been committed in the neighbourhood ; in fact
the whole country was just then under martial
law. I was well armed, and being alone I kept
my weather-eye open ; but I saw not even the ghost
of a brigand, and reached St Miklos in safety.
It is usual when incendiary fires or robberies have
been rife in any district to place that part of the
country under the Statorium, so that if any per-
son or persons are caught in flagrante delicto, they
are summarily tried and hung before a week is over.
When I was in Transylvania in the autumn of '75,
the whole of the north-eastern corner was under
At St Miklos I put up at the house of an
Armenian, who received me with a most frank and
kindly welcome, conducting me to the guest-cham-
ber himself after giving orders to the servants to
attend to my horse. St Miklos is charmingly situ-
ated in the valley of Gyergyo, at an elevation of
nearly 3000 feet above the sea-level. Here one is
right in amongst the mountains, the higher sum-
mits rising grandly around. The scenery is very
fine. There are interminable forests on every side,
broken by ravines and valleys, with strips of green
pasture-land. In former times these primeval
woods were tenanted by the wild aurochs, but now
one sees only the long-horned white cattle and the
wiry little horses belonging to the villages that
nestle about in unexpected places. St Miklos is
almost entirely inhabited by Armenians. There is a
market here, and it is considered the central place
of the district. The year before my visit the town
was nearly destroyed by fire. Upwards of three
hundred houses were burned down in less than three
hours. The loss of property was considerable, in-
cluding stores of hay and kukoricz (Indian corn).
Since this conflagration, which caused such wide-
spread distress in the place, they have established
a volunteer fire brigade. This ought to exist in
every village. Prompt action would often arrest the
serious proportions of a fire. It would be a good
thing if some substitute could be found for the
wooden tiles used for roofing; in course of time
they become like tinder, and a spark will fire the
roof. The houses in Hungary are not, as a rule,
constructed of wood, as in Upper Austria and
Styria, nor are they nearly so picturesque as in that
part of the world. In some Hungarian villages the
cottages are painted partly blue and partly yellow,
which has a very odd effect; and throughout the
country they are built with the gable-end to the road.
266 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
When I was at St Miklos there was great excite-
ment over the recent capture of a famous robber
chief, whose band had kept the country-side in a
state of alarm for some months past. I was asked
if I would like to go and see him, and of course I
was glad to get a sight at last of one of the robbers
of whom I had heard so much in my travels. I
was never more surprised than, on arriving in front
of a very shaky wooden building, to be told that
this was the prison. A few resolute fellows might
have easily broken in and effected the rescue of
There was no romance about the appearance of the j
miserable wretch that we found within, stretched on
a rough bed with wrists and feet heavily ironed, j
These manacles were hardly needed, for he wasi
severely wounded, and seemed incapable of rising;
from his pallet. I never saw so repulsive a coun-i
tenance ; and the flatness of the head was quite
remarkable. His eyes were very prominent, and'
had the restless look of a hunted animal, which was,
painful in the extreme; but there was absolutely noi
redeeming expression of human feeling in the darl^
coarse face. Well, there was something human
about him though. I was told he had been photo-
graphed that morning, and that he had expressed
considerable satisfaction at the idea of his portrait
being preserved. He was under sentence of death !
There were various stories told of his capture, but I
think the following is the true account. It appears
that he and his gang made their appearance from time
to time in the forest round the well-known watering-
place of Borsek. When visitors were on their way
to the baths, they were frequently stopped by the
robbers in a mountain pass, in the immediate neigh-
bourhood of a dense forest that stretches far away
for miles and miles over the frontier. It was the
custom of the robbers to demand all the money, and
they would relieve the travellers of their fur cloaks
and overcoats, and other useful articles ; but if they
did not offer any resistance, they were permitted to
go on uninjured, to take their cure at the baths.
I should doubt, however, that anybody would be
welcome there without a well-filled purse ; at least
I judge so from what I heard of the eminently
commercial character of the place.
The robbers had the game in their own hands for
a long while, but they made a mistake one fine
day. They stopped a handsome equipage, which
seemed to promise a good haul ; but lo, behold, it
was the Obergespannirz, the lord-lieutenant of the
county ! He had four good horses, and so saved
himself by flight. But the authorities now really
bestirred themselves, and the soldiers were called
268 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
out to exterminate this troublesome brood. They
were accompanied by a renowned bear-slayer who
knew the forest well. It was with great difficulty
that they succeeded at last in tracking the robbers,
or rather robber, for it was only the chief who was
trapped after all. It appears that the soldiers and
their guide came upon a small hut surrounded by
almost impenetrable thickets. The hunter crept on
in advance of the rest, and looking into the interior
through the chinks of timbers, he saw a man dry-
ing his clothes by a small fire. He quietly said,
" Good-day." The robber started up, and seizing
his gun, flung open the door and fired his fowling-
piece at once at his visitor. Fortunately the pow-
der proved to be damp, or he must have received
the full charge. The bear-slayer was now in close
quarters, and fired off his revolver within a short
distance of the other's head. The shot took effect,
and he fell in a heap stunned and senseless. At
first they thought he was dead, and it is marvellous
that the well-aimed discharge did not kill him.
His skull must have been uncommonly thick. This
fellow was known to be the leader. The rest of the
gang had probably escaped into Moldavia, from
whence they came.
My friends at St Miklos were kind enough to
promise to get up a bear-hunt for me, and it was
OUT IN A SNOWSTORM. 269
arranged that I should go and sec the baths of
Borsek, and return on Saturday night, so as to be
ready for the bear-hunt on Sunday. The " better
observance of the Sabbath" is always associated
with bear-hunting in these parts.
I left St Miklos in a snowstorm, though it was
only the 16th of September — very early for such
signs of winter. I was not prepared for wintry
weather. It frustrated my plans and expectations
a good deal. I was disappointed, too, in the
climate, for I had always heard that the late
autumn is about the finest time for Transylvania.
I have invariably remarked that whenever I go
to a new country it is the signal for " abnormal
meteorological disturbances," as they call bad
weather in the newspapers. My own notion is
that weather is a very mixed affair everywhere.
For three mortal hours I rode on through a blind-
ing snowstorm. At length I espied the ruin of
an unfinished cottage by the wayside, and here I
bethought me I would take shelter and see after
my dinner ; for whatever happens, I can be hungry
directly afterwards — I think an earthquake would
give me an appetite.
My unfurnished lodgings were in as wild a spot
as imagination could picture. No wonder that the
builder had abandoned the construction of this
270 KOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
solitary dwelling ; why it had ever been com-
menced passes my comprehension. It was just at
the entrance of a mountain valley, treeless, stony,
and rugged, through which there were at intervals
the semblance of a track — a desolate, God-forgotten-
looking place. On consulting the map I found that
the " road" led to Moldavia. I resolved it should
not lead me there. Here then, in this dreary spot,
with its gable-end to the road, and turning away
from the prospect — and no wonder — stood the
carcass of a cottage. My horse and I scrambled
over the breach in the wall, where a garden never
had smiled, and got into the roofless house. It was
with considerable difficulty that I found sticks
enough for my kitchen fire. I had to try back on
the route I had passed, for I remembered not far in
the rear a group of firs standing sentinels in the
pass. I always took care to have an end of rope
in my pocket; with this I tied up my fagot,
shouldered it, and returned to the house of enter-
tainment. The result of my trouble was a blazing
fire, whereat I cooked an excellent robber-steak. I
made myself some tea, and afterwards enjoyed — yes,
actually enjoyed — my pipe. There is a pleasure in
battling with circumstances, even in such a small
affair as getting one's dinner under difficulties.
After washing-up (by good-luck there was a
stream near by), I packed up my belongings, and
(dving a last look around to see that I had left
nothing, I departed without as much as a ponr-
boire for " service," one of the advantages of self-
The prospect for the rest of my ride was not
lively, a good ten miles yet to be done on a bad
road. It had ceased to snow, but the clouds kept
driving down into the valley as if the very heavens
themselves were in a state of mobilisation. It is
curious to notice sometimes in the higher Carpathians
how the clouds march continuously through the
winding valleys ; always moving and driving on,
these compact masses of vapour are impelled by the
currents of air in the defiles which seam the moun-
My way was now through an interminable pine-
forest, the road stretching in a perfectly straight line
and at a perceptible rise. Indeed it was uphill work
altogether. The ceaseless dripping of the rain made
the whole scene as cheerless as it well could be. The
snow had turned to cold dull rain, which was far
more depressing. I wished the mineral springs at
Borsek had never been discovered. It was too late
to turn back to St Miklos, where I devoutly wished
myself, so I had nothing to do but plod on with my
waterproof tight round me. It was impossible to go
272 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
fast, for in places the mud was very deep and the
road was beset with big stones.
It was dark when I reached Borsek, and as;am
I wished I had never come. The inn was very un-
comfortable ; there was no fireplace in any of the
rooms. The baths are only used in the height of
summer, and if it turns cold, as it does sometimes at
this elevation, people I suppose must freeze till it
gets warm again. I had come a fortnight too late ;
the world of fashion departs from Borsek at the end
of August. Ten or twelve springs rise within a short
area, and vary curiously in quality and temperature.
The source which is principally used for exportation
is remarkable for the quantity of carbonic acid it con-
tains. About 12,000 bottles are filled everyday;
some 1500 on an average break soon after corking,
owing partly to the bad quality of the bottles.
There is a glass manufactory in the place, and
though they have good material they turn out the
The export trade in the mineral waters is very ;
large. They are much valued for long sea voyages, ]
as the water keeps for years without losing its
gaseous qualities. 1
The baths of Borsek belong to two different
parishes, and they are by no means agreed as to
1 The waters of Borsek are much taken as an " after-cure."
the management. Some years ago the principal
spring was struck by lightning and entirely lost for
a time, but after much digging it was found again.
The situation of Borsek is extremely romantic,
and in the height of summer it must be very
delightful ; but in summer only — let no one follow
my example and go there out of season. Of course
the place is surrounded by magnificent forests, but
it is a crying shame to see how they have been
treated. In every direction there is evidence of
the ravages of fire. You may see in a morning's
walk the blackened stems of thousands of trees, the
results of Wallack incendiarism. If the Wallacks
go on destroying the forests in this way, they will end
in injuring the value of the place as a health resort ;
for the efficacy of the perfumed air of the pine-woods
is well known, especially for all nervous diseases.
The houses are badly built at Borsek, and the
arrangements for comfort are very incomplete. Most
of the habitations appear to have been run up with
green wood ; the result may be pleasant and airy
in summer, when the balmy breeze comes in from
cracks in the doors and window-frames, but except
in great heat, a perforated house is a mistake.
People have to bring their own servants and other
effects. I should say a portable stove would not be
a bad item amongst the luggage.
274 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
The Borsek waters are very much drunk through-
out Hungary, especially mixed with wine. Every-
where I noticed that eight people out of ten would
take water with their wine at meals. In the district
round there is splendid pasturage for cattle. Large
numbers of cattle fed in these parts are now sent
to Buda-Pest and Vienna. The serious drawback
to Borsek is its great distance from a railway. The
nearest station is Maros Vasarhely, which is nearly
ninety miles away. The drive between the two
places is very fine — that is, the scenery is fine, but
the road itself is execrable. A telegraph wire con-
nects Borsek with the outside world, but the* post
only comes twice a-week.
Moldavian frontier — Tolgyes — Excitement about robbers — Attempt
at extortion — A ride over the mountains — Return to St
Instead of going back to St Miklos by the same
route, I resolved to diverge a little if the weather
permitted. I wanted to visit Tolgyes, a village on
the frontier of Moldavia, which is said to be very
pretty. The weather decidedly improved, so I rode
off in that direction. The road, owing to the late
rains, was in a dreadful state. All the mountain
summits were covered with fresh snow ; it was a
lovely sight. The dazzling whiteness of these peaks
rising above the zone of dark fir-trees was singularly
striking and beautiful. The effect of sunshine was
exhilarating in the highest degree, and the contrast
with my recent experience gave it a keener relish.
At Tolgyes there is a considerable trade with
Moldavia in wood. Quite a fresh human interest
was imparted to the scene by this industry. By
the side of the stream small rafts were in course
276 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
of construction, and the trunks of the trees were
being placed in position to make the descent of
the stream. The woodman's axe was heard in the
forest, and many a picturesque hut or group of
huts were to be seen by the roadside, where the
woodmen and their families live, to be near their
work. The labour of getting the timber along
these tortuous mountain streams is very great. A
ready market is found at Galatz, where a great
deal of this wood is sent.
I remained the night at Tolgyes. The whole
place was in a state of excitement about brigands ;
every one had some fresh rumour to help swell the
general panic. A company of soldiers were kept
constantly patrolling the roads in the neighbour-
hood. I should say they were pretty safe not
to encounter the robbers, who are always well
informed under these circumstances.
In studying my pocket-map, I found that there
was clearly a short cut over the mountains to St
Miklos. On inquiry I extracted the confirmation
of the fact with difficulty, and I had still more
difficulty in inducing anybody to go with me as a
guide. At length I secured the services of a fellow
who was willing to go for a tolerably substantial
"consideration." I was afraid to work my way
entirely by the map, for roads are apt to be vague
AN EXORBITANT INNKEEPER. 277
in these parts. Ten chances to one whether you
know a road when you see it ; it might be a green
sward, or the rubbly dry bed of a mountain torrent,
or a cattle-track ; it may lead somewhere or no-
where. Unassisted you may wander all manner
I made my start very early in the morning, for
I had a long way to go, and my guide was on foot ;
there was not much use in being mounted, con-
sidering the pace that the roughness of the road
forced us to take. Before leaving Tolgyes I had
a row with the innkeeper. He made a most ex-
orbitant demand upon me, at least three times
over what was properly due. I told him at once
that I declined to pay the full amount he asked. I
knew perfectly well what the charge ought to be,
and I said I should pay that and no more. Here-
upon he got very angry, and informed me that he
should not saddle my horse or let me go till I had
paid him in full. I immediately went into the
stable and saddled the horse myself; I then put
down on the window-seat the money which I
considered was due to him, giving a fair and
liberal margin, but I was not going to be " done "
because I was a foreigner. I ordered my guide
to proceed, and I myself quick] y rode out of the
place. The innkeeper worked himself up into a
278 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
tremendous rage, and declared lie would have
me back, or at least lie would have his cold
meat and bread back that I had ordered for the
journey. I gave my horse the rein, and left the
fellow uttering his blessings both loud and deep.
We had ten miles of as bad a road as any I had
yet seen in my travels. The mud in some places
was two feet deep. We followed the windings of a
stream called the Putna Patak, and came presently
to a wayside inn frequented by foresters. Here we
made a short halt, got a bottle of decent wine and
a crust of bread. Immediately on quitting this
place we turned into a less frequented path, and
began a stiffish ascent. It was a superb day, and
I enjoyed it immensely, not having been much
favoured by weather lately. Our route was through
a thick forest, the trees, as usual in these, magnifi-
cent, with their gigantic girth, and widespreading
branches. At times I got a glimpse of the snowy
mountain summits standing out against the in-
tensely blue sky.
At mid-day I told the guide to look out for the
next spring, for there we would dine. We did not
find a spring for some time, at least not by the way-
side, and I was reluctant to lose time by wandering
about. At length when we had secured a water-
tap — viz., a little trickling rill flowing between some
ST MIKLOS. 279
stones and spongy moss — we found ourselves in
a difficulty about the fire. There was plenty of
wood, but it was all soaking wet and would not
burn. Luckily a fir-tree was spied out, which pro-
vided us with a good quantity of turpentine,
and with this we persuaded the fire to blaze up
a bit. We cooked the dinner, had a smoke, a
short rest, and then en avant — always through the
Later in the afternoon, emerging from the wood,
we came upon a grassy plateau which commanded
a glorious view of the Transylvanian side of the
Carpathians. I was glad to see the familiar valley
of Gyergyo away westward, with its numerous
villages and green pasturage. The same physical
peculiarity pervades the whole of Hungary. When-
ever you get a vale of any extent, it is as flat as if
it were a bit of the great plain. Everywhere you
have the impression that formerly the waters of a
lake must have covered the level verdure of the
valley. As soon as I caught sight of St Miklos I
dismissed my guide, for his services were no longer
required, and I could get on quicker without him.
I had still a long distance to go, for I was not far
below the summit. I was extremely anxious to get
into safe quarters before dark, so I made the best
of the way, leading my horse down the steep bits,
280 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
and mounting again for a short trot where it was
On arriving at the house of my Armenian friends
at St Miklos, happily before sundown, I was greatly
disappointed to find that there would be no bear-
hunt the next day. Those detestable robbers had
turned up again, and the people who were to have
formed part of the sporting expedition were obliged
to go robber-hunting, a sport not much to their
taste I fancy.
It appeared that the fellows had entered an out-
of-the-way inn, or rather wine -shop, and boldly
ordered the owner to procure for them a certain
amount of gunpowder, which they required should
be ready for them the next day, and failing to carry
out their orders, they threatened to shoot him. He
was obliged to promise, for there were five of them,
and except women he was alone in the house. They
drank a quantity of his wine, and asked for no
reckoning, saying they would pay for it the next
day along with the gunpowder.
Directly they had left the premises, the innkeeper
set off as fast as his legs could carry him to St
Miklos to ask for help. The robbers seemed to be
such bunglers that one would judge them to be new
to the business ; but the innkeeper's terror knew no
bounds, and he declared they were awful-looking
CAPTURE OF ROBBERS. 281
cut-throats. Two of the men were caught the next
day. I saw them brought into the village heavily
manacled ; they were harmless-looking Wallacks,
not very different in appearance from my guide over
the mountain. Though armed with guns, they
made no resistance ; and when they were discovered
they had called out lustily to the soldiers not to
fire, for they would give themselves up. I expect
they were let off w T ith imprisonment, but I never
heard the end of the story. I owed them a grudge
for spoiling my bear-hunt, which I missed altogether,
for I could not wait until the following Sunday.
I left St Miklos with an introduction to some rich
Armenians at Toplicza, where I intended making
my next halt.
Toplicza — Armenian hospitality — A bear-hunt — A ride over to the
frontier of Bukovina — Destruction of timber — Maladministra-
tion of State property — An unpleasant night on the mountain — j
At Toplicza I was very hospitably received by the
family to whom I took the letter of introduction
from my friends at the last place. Unfortunately
I could not converse with the elders of the family,'
for they spoke no German, and my Hungarian was
limited. However, there was a charming young lady
with whom I found no difficulty in getting on ; she,
understood not only the language but the literature
A bear-hunt was soon proposed in my honour.
The headman of the village was brought into our
council, and he quickly sent round orders that every h
body was to appear the following day — which con-
veniently happened to be a fete day — for a hunt.
Those who had guns would be placed at different
" stands," and those who had no guns were expected
to act as beaters.
A BEAR-HUNT. 283
The Richter, or headman, was a fine specimen
of a Wallack ; he was six feet three, broad chested,
with flowing black hair — a handsome fellow of that
type. I told him I should not like to fight him if he
knew how to use his fists. He was pleased at the
little compliment. The next day the Wallacks came
pouring in from all the outlying parts of the village.
It was really a very picturesque sight. The men
wore thongs of leather round their feet in place of
boots ; and those who had no guns were armed with
the usual long staff surmounted by the formidable
A great deal of time was wasted in preparations.
The Wallacks are the most dilatory people in the
whole world. It was nearly three o'clock before we
got to the forests where we hoped to give Bruin
a rendezvous. The guns that some of the party
carried were " a caution " — more fit for a museum of
armoury than for anything else. The Wallacks try
to remedy the inefficiency of their guns by cramming
in very large charges of powder, at least two bullets,
and some buckshot besides. I often thought the
danger was greater to themselves than to the bear.
They never fire over twenty-five yards, and in fact
generally allow the bear to come within twelve yards,
when they pepper away at him.
At last we were in position. It is usual to have
284 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
a second gun, but I had only my rifle and revolver ;
unfortunately my gun was with my baggage at
Maros Vasarhely. After waiting for some time
without hearing anything but the creaking of the
pine-trees in the wind, the advance of the beaters
was at length audible. You hear repeated thuds
with their axes on the trees, and you know that they
are beating up your way. All at once I heard the
unmistakable tread of some heavy four-footed beast.
I held my breath, fearing to betray my presence.
Nearer and nearer came the heavy tread, the I
branches cracking as the animal broke its way I
through the thicket. It must be a bear of the:
largest size, thought I, with a glow of delight warm- 1
ing up my whole frame at this supreme moment.
I had just raised the rifle to my shoulder, when —
judge my disgust — when emerging from the thicket:
I saw a stray ox make his appearance ! I could
hardly resist putting a bullet into the stupid brute's
carcass, but I remembered that I should have to
pay for that little game.
We moved on to another part of the forest, andj
the same programme of taking our positions and
arranging the course of the beaters was gone;
through ; but we met with no success. This wasj
the more provoking, because on our return we found j
the fresh slot of a bear. He had evidently just
saved himself in time; the marks of his claws were
quite visible in the soft mud.
These footprints were all we were destined to see,
for evening was drawing on, and it was impossible
to pursue the sport any farther. Of course we
commenced operations far too late in the day; it
was simply ridiculous to begin at such a late hour
in the autumn afternoon. It was very disappoint-
ing; but there is so much of mere chance in bear-
hunting, that where one man has the luck to kill
four or five in a season, another may go on for two
years following without getting as much as a shot.
The sportsman will be glad to hear, though the
farmer is of quite another mind, that bears, wolves,
and wild-boar are increasing very much in the
Carpathians generally. I have mentioned this fact
before, but I allude to it again because it was
everywhere corroborated. On all sides this increase
is attributed to the tax on firearms, which deters
the peasants from keeping them down. They are
often too poor to pay for a shooting licence and the
Toplicza has some w T arm mineral springs. "Warm
water seems to be turned on everywhere in Hun-
gary. One of these springs is situated close to the
river, where a simple kind of bath-house has been
constructed. The water contains iodine. While at
286 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Toplicza I heard that somewhere up in the moun-
tains on the Bukovina side there is a large deposit
of sulphur. The accounts were very vague, but 1
thought I should like to have a look at the place.
The district was pronounced to be so unsafe, and so
many robbers had appeared on the scene lately, that
I thought proper to take two men with me; one as
a guide, for he had been there before, and a forester
armed with a gun.
My friends the Armenians kindly insisted on
providing me with everything necessary in the
shape of food ; and one day, the weather being fine,
I started at noon on this expedition along with
my attendants. We soon got into the forest again.
The size of the trees was almost beyond belief;
but, alas ! many of them had been destroyed in the
same ruthless manner that I have so often alluded
to in my travels. Here were half-burned trunks of
splendid oak-trees lying rotting on the ground ini
every direction, showing clearly that the forest had!
been fired. The attempt at a clearing, if that was I
the object, was utterly abortive ; for when the trees i
are down a thick undercover grows up, more
impervious by far, and there is less chance of
obtaining pasturage than ever, but the Wallack
never reasons upon this. The State reckons!
the value of its " forests " at somethiog like j
NEGLECTED RESOURCES. 287
27,000,000 florins, and yet there is no efficient
supervision of this property, which, from the in-
creasing scarcity of wood in Europe, must become
in time more and more valuable. The mines
of Hungary are estimated in round numbers at
210,000,000 florins, and here again there is a
lamentable absence of wise administration. The
mining laws, I understand, are at present under
revision. Foreign enterprise is not discouraged,
but I cannot go so far as to say that the adven-
ture would not meet with difficulties from local
obstructions of an official or semi-official nature.
We had started from Toplicza in beautiful weather,
but before sunset a complete change came on, and
heavy rain set in. This was a very uncomfortable
look-out, for we could see nothing that offered us
anything like a decent shelter for the night. The
guide urged us to go on, for he said there was a
hut at the top of the mountain ; so we beat our way
along through the driving rain, and eventually came
to the top. We soon found the hut, but it was a
mere ruin ; it might have been in Chancery for any
number of years, indeed one end had tumbled in.
It was as uninviting a place to spend a night in
as could well be imagined. Fortunately one corner
was still weather-proof, the fir bark of the roof yet
remaining intact. W T e had to be careful, however,
288 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
about the roof, which consisted of stems of trees j
supported longitudinally. It was easy to see that i
a very little incautious vivacity on our part would
bring the whole structure down on our heads.
Water was found not far off, and we soon had a
fire, which blazed up cheerfully. Its warmth was i
very necessary, for it was bitterly cold and damp.
I had brought with me a hammock made of twine ; !
this I slung in the driest corner, and after supper I
turned in and was soon asleep. The faculty of sleep
is an immense comfort. A man may put it high up
on the credit side in striking the balance of good !
and evil in his lot.
When I awoke the next morning, I found that i
the weather was worse than ever. The mist was so
dense that the Wallack guide said it was perfectly
impossible to go on, in fact we might consider our-
selves lucky if we were able to get back without
mischance. Not to be daunted, I waited till nearly
noon, thinking it was possible that the mist might
rise, and restore to us the bright skies of yesterday.
A change came, but not the one we hoped for. The
cold rain turned into snow, so it would have been
sheer madness to think of going on.
We were in a wretched plight, crowded together
in the corner of the ruined hut, and snow as well as
" light " came in " through the chinks that time had
DRIVEN BACK TO TOPLICZA. 289
made." Owing to a change in the wind, the smoke
of the fire outside drifted in ; and there was evi-
dence of a worse drift — that of the snow, which
before nightfall I daresay may have buried the
cottage out of sight.
I now gave orders for returning, and just as I
stepped out of the hut, or was in the act of leaving,
one of the heavy beams from the roof fell upon me ;
it caught me on the back of my head — a pretty
close shave ! The ride back, with the consciousness
of having failed to attain the object I had in view,
was depressing. Nothing could be more unlovely
than these once glorious forests. In parts we had
to pass through a mere morass, into which my horse
At last we got back to Toplicza. The forester
and the Wallack thought themselves amply compen-
sated by a few paper florins. I daresay they kept
off the rheumatism by extra potations of slivovitz.
As for myself, having been dipped, yea, having even
undergone total immersion in the morass, I felt like
those extinct animals who have left their interesting
bones nice and dry in the blue lias, but who in daily
life must have been " mud all over." I presented
such a spectacle on my return, that I consider it was
an instance of the greatest kindness — indeed it must
290 ROUND ABOUT THE CABPATHIANS.
have been a severe strain on the hospitality of my
friends to give me house-room.
As my garments had not the durability of those
of the Israelites in the wilderness, it became a very
desirable object to effect a junction with my port-
manteau, which was sitting all this time at Maros
Vasarhely. The weather, too, had calmed my
ardour for the mountains, and I resolved to strike
into the interior of Transylvania, and see something
of the towns.
Visits at Tran sylvanian chateaux — Society — Dogs — Amusements
at Klausenburg — Magyar poets — Count Istvan Szechenyi —
Baron Eotvos — ' The Village Notary ' — Hungarian self-criticism
— Literary taste.
I must now drop the itinerary of my journey and
speak more in generalities ; for after leaving the
wilder districts of the Szeklerland, I took the
opportunity of presenting some of the letters of
introduction that I brought with me from England.
For the succeeding six weeks or more I spent my
; time most agreeably in the chateaux of some of the
I well-known Transylvanian nobles. For the time my
wild rovings were over. The bivouac in the glorious
forest and robber-steak cooked by the camp fire —
the pleasures of " roughing it" — were exchanged for
the charms of society.
And society is very charming in Transylvania.
Nearly all the ladies speak English well, and are
extremely well read in our literature. To speak
French is a matter of course everywhere ; but
292 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
they infinitely prefer our literature, and speak our!
language always in preference when they can.
The works of such men as Darwin, Lyell, andj
Tyndall are read. I remember seeing these, and
many other leading authors, in a bookseller's shop in
Klausenburg. It is true this last-named place is the
capital — viz., the Magyar capital — of Transylvania,;
but in most respects it is a mere provincial town.
A friend and myself happened to be lunching onei
day in the principal inn — it was in the salle q
manger — and we were talking together in English.;
Presently I noticed a remarkably little man at the
next table, who looked towards us several times
finally he got up from his chair, or rather I should;
say got down, and making a sign to us equivalent 1
to touching his hat, he said, " Gentlemen, I am an
Englishman; I thought it right to tell you in cast
you should think there was no one present whc
understood what you were talking ! " It was veiy
civil of the little fellow, for we were talking rathei
unguardedly about some well-known personages. I
then asked him how he came to be in this part o1
the world, and he told me he was a jockey, and had
been over several times to ride at the Klausenburg
races; but he added he was very sorry that they
always took place on a Sunday ! There is certainly
no " hitter observance of the Sabbath" in Hungary
COURSING IN TRANSYLVANIA. 293
generally. Offices are open, and business is con-
ducted as usual — certainly in the morning.
There is some good coursing in the neighbourhood
of Klausenburg, which is kept up closely on the
pattern of English sport. I had two or three good
runs with the harriers, and on one occasion got a
spill that was a close shave of breaking my neck.
Count T had given me a mount. The horse was
all right, but not knowing the nature of the country,
I was not aware that the ground drops suddenly in
many places. Coming to something of this kind
without preparation, the horse threw me, and I was
pitched down an embankment upwards of twelve
feet in depth. Several people who saw the mishap
thought it was all up with me, but, curiously enough,
I was absolutely unhurt. A pull at my flask set
me all right, and I walked back the five miles to
I Klausenburg. The horse unfortunately galloped
! away, and was not brought back till the next
, day, and then minus his saddle ; however, it was
j recovered subsequently.
In the present scare about hydrophobia the fol-
lowing is worth notice. One day when walking in
the principal street of Klausenburg I heard a great
barking amongst the dogs, of which there were some
dozen following a closed van. On inquiry I found
that once a-week the authorities send round to see
294 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
if there are any dogs at large without the regulation
tax-collar. If any such vagabonds are found they
are consigned to the covered cart, and are forthwith I
shot. This excellent arrangement has the effect of!
keeping down the number of dogs ; besides, there is
the safeguard attendant upon the responsibility of 1
ownership. The funny part of the matter is that [
the tax-paying dogs are not the least alarmed at the
appearance of the whipper-in, but join with great
show of public spirit in denouncing the collarlessj
Klausenburg has not the picturesque situation of I
Kronstadt, but it is a pleasant clean-looking town,;
with wide streets diverging from the Platz, where!
stands the Cathedral, completed by Matthias!
Corvinus, son of Hunyadi. This famous king,
always called " the Just," was born at Klausenburg
As Herrmannstadt and Kronstadt are chiefly
inhabited by Saxon immigrants, and Marosj
Vasarhely is the central place of the Szeklers, so
may Klausenburg, or rather Kolozsvar, as it is
rightly named, be considered the Magyar capital of
The gaieties of the winter season had not com-
menced when I was there, but I understand the
world amuses itself immensely. The nobles come;
in from their remote chateaux to their houses, or
apartments, as it may be, in town, and then the
ball is set going.
There is a good theatre in Klausenburg. I found
the acting decidedly above the average of the
provincial stage generally. I saw a piece of
Moliere's given, and though I could only under-
stand the Hungarian very imperfectly, I was
enabled to follow it well enough to judge of the
Shakespeare is so great a favourite with the
Hungarians that his plays are certainly more often
represented on the stage at Buda-Pest than in
London. The Hungarian translation of our great
poet, as I observed before, is most excellent.
It was a band of patriotic poets who first
employed the language of the Magyars in their
compositions. Hitherto all literary utterance had
been confined to Latin, or to the foreign tongues
spoken at courts. The rash attempt of Joseph II. to
denationalise the Magyar and to Germanise Hungary
by imperial edicts had a violent reactionary result.
The strongest and the most enduring expression is
to be found in the popular literature which was
inaugurated by such men as Csokonai and the
two brothers Kisfaludy, who were all three born in
the last century. The songs of Csokonai have
296 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
retained their hold on the people's hearts because,
and here is the keynote — " because they breathe
the true Hungarian feeling." The insistent themes
of the Magyar poets were the love of country, the
joys of home, the duty of patriotism. Such was
the soul-stirring 'Appeal' ('Szozat') of Varosmazty,
the chief of all the tuneful brethren, the Schiller
of Hungary. Born with the niDeteenth century,
and at once its child and its teacher, he died in
1855 — too soon, alas ! to see the benefits accruing
to his beloved country from the wise reconciliatory
policy of his dear friend Deak. His funeral was
attended by more than 20,000 people, and the
country provided for his family.
Whenever the poets of Hungary are mentioned
the name of Petoefy will occur, and he was second
to none in originality of thought and poetic utter-
ance. An intense love of his native scenery, not
excepting even the dreary boundless Alfold, afforded
inspiration for his genius. His poetic temperament
and pathetic story give him a certain likeness to
the brave young Korner, dear to every German
heart. Petoefy was engaged in editing a Hun-
garian translation of Shakespeare when he was
interrupted by the political events of 1848. His
pen and sword were alike devoted to the cause of
patriotism, and entering the army under General
Bern, he became his adjutant and secretary. Dur-
ing the memorable winter campaign in Transyl-
vania he wrote proclamations and warlike songs.
We all know the story of the Kussian invasion of
Transylvania at Austria's appeal, and how the brave
Hungarians fought and fell at the battle of Schass-
burg. This engagement took place on the 31st of
July '49. Petoefy was present, and indeed had
been seen in the thick of the fight; but in the
evening he was missing from the roll-call, and,
strange to say, his remains, though searched for,
were never identified. The mystery which hung
over his fate caused many romantic stories to be
circulated, and not a few claimants to his name
and fame have arisen. Even within the last three
months a report has reached his native village that
he had been seen in the mines of Siberia, where
he has been kept a prisoner all these years by the
The language of the Magyars was heard not in
poetry alone, but in the sternest prose. " Hungary
is not, but Hungary shall be/' said Count Szechenyi.
The men who worked out this problem were poli-
ticians, writers, and orators. Foremost among them
may be reckoned Baron Eotvos, one of the most
liberal-minded and enlightened thinkers of the day.
His efforts were specially directed to improving the
298 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
education of all classes of the community. With
this end and aim he worked unceasingly. He held
the post of Minister of Cultus and Education in
the first independent Hungarian Ministry in 1848,
but withdrew in consequence of political differences
with his colleagues. Again in 1867 he held the
same porte-feuille under Count Andrassy, but died
in 1870 universally regretted. His best known
literary productions are two novels, ' The Car-
thusian ' and ' The Village Notary/ The latter
highly-interesting, indeed dramatic story, may be
recommended to any one who desires to know
what really were the sufferings entailed upon the
peasantry under the old system of forced labour.
It is one of those fictions which, as old Walter
Savage Landor used to say, " are more true than
fact." It was the ' Uncle Tom's Cabin ' of that
day, and of the cause he had at heart — the abolition
of serfdom. In reading this most thrilling story,
one can understand the evil times that gave birth
to the terrible saying of the peasant, " that a lord
is a lord, even in hell."
Yet it was the nobles themselves who abolished
at one sweep all the privileges of their order. It
was by their unanimous consent that the manu-
mission of nearly eight millions of serfs was
granted, at the same time converting the feudal
" ENGLISHIFYING " TENDENCIES. 299
holdings of some 500,000 families into absolute
In Hungary it would appear that public opinion
is generously receptive of new impulses, and in this
particular the Hungarians resemble us, as they
claim to do in many things, calling themselves
" the English of the East."
" It is curious," said Baroness B to me one
day, " that with all our respect for British institu-
tions, and everything that is English, that we fail
to copy their straight good sense. We have too
many talkers, too few workers. We are not yet a
money -making nation ; we have no idea of serious
work, and our spirit for business is not yet
developed. Almost all industrial or commercial
enterprises are in the hands of Jews, Armenians,
Greeks, who are great scoundrels generally."
" The Armenians are instinctive traders," I
"Yes, true; just as we are the very reverse.
But this change has come over us. Taking again
our cue from England, we see that trade can be
respectable, and those who follow it are respected
— with you at least. We try to Englishify our-
selves, and some of the younger members of the
community make a funny hash of it. For instance,
a rich young country swell in our neighbourhood
300 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
went over to England and came back in raptures
with everything, and tried to turn everything up-
side down at home without accommodating his new
ideas to the circumstances that were firmly rooted
here. You may see him now sit down to dinner
with an English dresscoat over his red Hungarian
waistcoat. His freaks went far beyond this, and he
came to be known as the ' savage Englishman/ ,:
I asked my hostess if our English novels were
" Everybody likes your English fiction," replied
Baroness B . "It is immensely read, and has
helped to promote the knowledge of the language
more perhaps than anything else. We, too, have our
writers of fiction. Jokai is the most prolific, but he
has got to be too much an imitator of the French
school. One of his earlier novels, ' The New Land-
lord/ has been translated into English, and gives
a good picture of Hungarian life in the transition
state of things. For elegance of style he is not to
be compared to Gzulai Paul and Baron Eotvos."
" There seems to be a growing interest in natural
history and literature," I remarked, "judging from
the enormous increase of newspapers and journals
which pass through the post, both foreign and local."
" With regard to local journals/' replied the
Baroness, "we have the l Osszehasonlito irodalom-
TRANSYLVANIAN CULTURE. 301
tortenelmi Lapok ' ('Comparative Literary Journal'),
which is published at Klausenburg, at Herrmann-
stadt, and at Kesmark in Upper Hungary. There
are Natural History Societies, who publish their
reports annually. Added to this, there are few
towns of any size that have not their public
libraries. I speak specially of Transylvania, where
we affect a higher degree of culture than in Hun-
Baroness B was very anxious to impress
upon me that certainly in Transylvania the ladies
of good society do not affect "fast" manners or
style. " Very few amongst us," she said, "adopt
the nasty habit of smoking cigarettes. I am very
sorry that Countess A has attempted to in-
troduce this fashion from Pest."
Buda-Pest, though the capital, is not the place
to find the best Hungarian society. Many of the
old families prefer Pressburg ; and Klausenburg is
to Transylvania what Edinburgh was to Scotland,
socially speaking, before the days of railroads. In
the season good society may be met with at the
various baths, but every year the facilities of travel
enable people to go farther a-field health-seeking
and for pleasure.
A visit at Schloss B National characteristics — Robber stories —
Origin of the " poor lads " — Audacity of the robbers — Anecdote
of Deak and the housebreaker— Romantic story of a robber
The three weeks I remained at Schloss B were
amongst the most agreeable days I spent in Tran-
sylvania. There were a great many visitors coming
and going, affording me an excellent opportunity
of seeing the society of that part of Hungary.
With regard to the younger generation, the Tran-
sylvanians are like well-bred people all the world
over. The ladies have something of the frankness
of superior Americans — the sort of Americans that
Lord Lytton describes in ' The Parisians ' — and
in consequence conversation has more vivacity
than with us.
In the elder generation you may detect far more
of national peculiarity ; in some cases they retain
the national dress, and with it the Magyar pride
and ostentation, so strongly dashed with Orientalism.
NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 303
Then again, in the houses of the old nobility, one
is struck by many curious incongruities. For
example, Count T has a large retinue of
servants — five cooks are hardly able at times to
supply his hospitable board, so numerous are
the guests — yet the walls of his rooms are simply
whitewashed, and the furniture is a mixture of
costly articles from Vienna and the handiwork
of the village carpenter. A whole array of ser-
vants, who are in gorgeous liveries at dinner,
may be seen barefooted in the morning.
In talking with some of the elderly members of
the family, I heard many curious anecdotes of old
Hungarian customs ; but " the old order changeth"
here as elsewhere, and a monotonous uniformity
threatens the social world. Even as it is, every-
body who entertains his friends at dinner is much
the same as everybody else, be he in Monmouth
or Macedon. Distinctive characteristics of race
are found more easily in the common people, who
are less amenable to the change of fashion than
their superiors. Baroness B had a complete
repertory of robber stories, some of which are so
characteristic that I will repeat them here.
I have before alluded to the peculiarity which
existed in the old system preserving to the peasant
his personal freedom, though the land was burdened
304 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
with duties. It was not till 1838 that the Austrians
introduced the conscription, and subsequently they
carried out the law with a brutality that made the
innovation thoroughly detested by the peasantry.
Accustomed to their tradition of personal freedom,
the forced military service in itself was regarded
with intense dislike. The richer classes were
enabled to pay a certain sum of money for ex-
emption, but the poor were helpless ; they were
dragged from their houses and sent to distant
parts of the empire, to serve for a long period of
years. As cases had not unfrequently occurred of
the recruits running aw T ay, they were subjected to
the ignominy of being chained together in gangs;
and as if this was not enough, many superfluous
brutalities were inflicted by the Austrian officials.
To escape from this hated service, many a young
man fled from his home in anticipation of the next
levy of the conscription, and hid himself in the
shepherds' tanya in the plain. These remote
dwellings in the distant puszta were no bad
hiding - places, and the fugitives were freely
harboured by the shepherds, who shared the
animosity of the "poor lads" against the Austrian
conscription. In course of time these outlaws found
honest work difficult to procure ; they became, in
short, vagabonds on the face of the earth, and ended
by forming themselves into robber bands. They
had also their class grievance against the rich, who
had been enabled to buy themselves off from serving
in the army. The numbers of the original fugitives
were soon increased by evil-doers from all sides —
ruffians who had a natural bent for rapine — and
a plague of robbers was the result, threatening all
parts of Hungary. The mischief grew to such
serious proportions, and it transpired that the
robbers had everywhere accomplices in the towns
and villages. Persons of apparently respectable
position were suspected of favouring them ; they
were called " poor lads," and a glamour of patriot-
ism was fluno; over the fugitives from Austrian
During the war of independence these robber
bands rallied round their elected chief, Shandor
Bozsa, and actually offered their services to the
Hungarian Government, as they desired to take
part in the great national struggle. The Pro-
visional Government accepted their services, and
they came pouring in from every part of the
country. At first they behaved very well, and
in fact many of these "irregulars" distinguished
themselves by acts of great valour. In the end
it was the old story ; they soon showed a degree
of insubordination that rendered them worse than
306 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
useless to the regular army. By the time the
struggle for independence had found its melancholy
ending at Villagos, these fellows were again at their
old tricks of horse-stealing and cattle -lifting, and
they went so far as to waylay even the honved,
the national Hungarian militia. The well-disposed
part of the community was powerless to resist the
robbers, for after the disastrous events of 1849 the
Austrian Government prohibited the possession of
firearms, even for huntiDg purposes, so that villages
and towns, one might almost say, were at the mercy
of a band of well-armed robbers. The Government
were so busy hunting down political conspirators,
and hanging, shooting, and imprisoning patriots,
that they were indifferent to the increase of
brigandage. The statistics of the political perse-
cutions which Hungary suffered at the hands of
Austria during the ten years that followed Villagos
were significant. Upwards of two thousand persons
were sentenced to death, nearly ten times that
number were thrown into prison, and almost five
thousand Hungarian patriots were driven into exile
— amongst the number Deak, the yet-to-be saviour
of his country.
But to return to the robbers. They had spread
themselves over the whole land ; from the forests of
Bakony to Transylvania, from the Carpathians to
ROBBER BANDS. 307
the Danube, no place was free from these desperate
marauders. They committed incredible deeds of
boldness. On one occasion seven or eight robbers
attacked a caravan of thirty waggons in the neigh-
bourhood of Szegedin, the cavalcade being on its
way to the fair in that town. The traders were
without a single firearm amongst them, so that
the fully - armed brigands effected their purpose,
though it was broad daylight. Another time they
entered a market town in Transylvania and coolly
demanded that the broken wheel of their waggon
should be mended, threatening to shoot down any-
body who offered the slightest opposition. The
post was frequently stopped, but it came to be
remarked, that though the passengers were gener-
ally killed, the drivers escaped. This, together
with the fact that the post was always stopped
when there were large sums of money in course
of transit, led the authorities to suspect that their
employes were in collusion with the robbers, and
subsequent events proved this to be the case.
When the hostility of Austria had somewhat
cooled down, the dangerous up-growth of these
robber bands attracted the serious attention of the
Government, and not only gendarmerie but military
force were employed against them. The officials to
a man were Germans and Bohemians, indifferently
308 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
honest, and hated by the peasantry, who, after all,
preferred a Hungarian robber to an Austrian
official. The consequence was that they were not
by any means very ready to depose against the
"poor lads," and the Government found themselves
unequal to cope with the difficulty, so things went
from bad to worse.
In 1867, when at last the reconciliation policy
of Deak had effected a substantial peace with
Austria, the Hungarian Constitution being re-
established, and the towns and comitats (counties)
having got back their prerogatives and self-govern-
ment, the intolerable evil of brigandage was at
once brought before the attention of the Parlia-
ment assembled at Buda-Pest. There were a great
many speeches made upon the subject, and Count
Forgacs with a considerable military force was
despatched to Zala and the adjoining country
against the robbers. He simply drove them out
of one part of the country to carry on their
devastations in another, and dreadful robberies
and murders were reported from Szegedin. On
several occasions the post was stopped, and the
passengers were invariably killed. They even
stopped the railway train one day at Peteri.
Government were now obliged to take stronger
measures. They recalled Count Forgoes, and
MEASURES OF REPRESSION. 309
despatched Count Rddaz as Royal Commissary
with augmented powers, Parliament in the mean
time voting a grant of 60,000 florins for the
The energetic measures taken by Count Radaz
led to some remarkable disclosures. He discovered
that tradesmen, magistrates, and other employes
in towns and villages were in communication with
the brigands, and in fact shared the booty. It
came to be remarked that certain persons returned
suddenly to their homes after a mysterious absence,
which corresponded with the commission of some
desperate outrage in another part of the country.
In the space of fifteen months Count Radaz had
to deal with nearly six hundred cases of capital
offences, and no less than two hundred of the male-
factors were condemned to the gallows.
" Wherever they can the peasants will shelter the
' poor lads ' from the law," said my friend. " It
happened only last spring in our neighbourhood
that a robber had been tracked to a village, but
though this had happened on several occasions, yet
the authorities failed to find him. It was known
that he had a sweetheart there, a handsome peasant
girl, who was herself a favourite with everybody.
One day, however, the soldiers discovered him
hidden in a hay-loft. There was a terrible struggle ;
310 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the robber, discharging his revolver, killed one man
and wounded another. At length he was secured,
strongly bound, and placed in a waggon to be con-
veyed to the nearest fortress. When passing through
a wood the convoy was set upon by a lot of women,
who flung flowers into the waggon, and a little
farther on a rescue was attempted ; but the military
were in strong force, and the villagers had to con-
tent themselves with loud expressions of sympathy
for the 'poor lad.' He was, in truth, a hand-
some, gallant young fellow — open-handed, generous
to the poor, and with the courage of a lion — just
the sort of hero for a mischievous romance."
The following story, related by my friend Baroness
B -, proves that there were men amongst these
outlaws who were not destitute of patriotic feeling.
In the year 1867 a band of " poor lads " surprised ai
country gentleman's house by night. It was their 1
habit to ask for money and valuables, and woe betide
those who refused, unless they were strong enough
to resist the demand. Horrible atrocities were com-
mitted by these miscreants, who have been known
to torture the inhabitants of lonely dwellings,
finishing their brutal work by setting fire to house
On the occasion above named the robber band
consisted of more than a dozen well-armed men,
PATRIOTIC THIEVES. 311
and as the household was but small, resistance was
out of the question. They made a forcible entrance,
and were going the round of every room in the
house, collecting all valuables of a portable nature,
when it chanced that they entered the guest-cham-
ber, that had for its occupant no less a person than
the great patriot Francis Deak. The intruders in-
stantly pounced on a very handsome gold watch
lying on a table near the bedside. Mr Deak, thus
rudely disturbed, awoke to the unpleasant fact that
his much-prized watch was in the hands of the
robbers. Giving them credit for some feelings of
patriotism, he simply told them who he was, adding
that the watch was the keepsake of a dear departed
friend, and begged they would restore it to him.
On hearing his name the chief immediately handed
the watch back, apologising " very much for break-
ing in on the repose of honoured Mr De^k, whom
they held in so much respect," adding "that the
nature of their occupation obliged them to make
use of the hours of the night for their work."
The chance of interviewing Mr Deals: was not to
be neglected, so the robber chief sat down by the
bedside of the statesman and had a chat about
political affairs, and finally took his leave with
many expressions of respect. Not an article of Mr
Deak's was touched ; they even contented them-
312 EOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
selves with a very moderate amount of black-mail
from the master of the house, and no one was
personally injured in any way.
My next story is a very romantic one ; it was
related to me by an English friend who was travel-
ling in Hungary as long ago as 1846, when the
circumstance had recently occurred. It seems that
in those days a certain lady, the widow of a wealthy
magnate, inhabited a lonely castle not far from the
principal route between Buda and Vienna. She
received one morning a polite note requesting her to
provide supper at ten o'clock that night for twelve
gentlemen ! She knew at once the character of
her self-invited guests, and devised a novel mode
of defence. Some people would have sent post-haste
to the nearest town for help, but the chatelaine
could easily divine that every road from the castle
would be watched to prevent communication, so
she made her own plans.
At ten o'clock up rode an armed band, twelve
men in all ; immediately the gate of the outer court
and the entrance door were thrown open, as if for
the most honoured and welcome guests. The lady
of the castle herself stood in the entrance to receive
them, richly dressed as if for an entertainment.
She at once selected the chief, bade him welcome,
gave orders that their horses should be well cared
ROBBER COURTESY. 313
for, and then taking the arm of her guest, she led
him into the dining-hall. Here a goodly feast was
spread, the tables and sideboard being covered with
a magnificent display of gold and silver plate, the
accumulation of many generations.
The leader of the robber band started back sur-
prised, but immediately recovering his presence
of mind, he seated himself calmly by the side
of his charming hostess, who soon engaged him
in conversation about the gay world of Vienna,
whose doings were perfectly familiar to them both.
At length, when the feast was nearly ended, the
chief took out his watch and said, "Madame, the
happiest moments of my life have always been the
I shortest. I have another engagement this night,
hut before I leave allow me to tell you that in
appealing to my honour, as you have done to-night,
you have saved me from the commission of a crime.
Bad as I am, none ever appealed to my honour in
vain. As for you, my men/' he said, looking
sternly round with his hand on his pistol, " I charge
you to take nothing from this house ; he who dis-
obeys me dies that instant."
The chief then asked for pen and paper, and
writing some sentences in a strange character,
handed it to his hostess, saying, " If you or your
retainers should at any time lose anything of value,
314 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
let that paper be displayed in the nearest town, and
I pledge you my word the missing articles shall be;
returned." After this he took his leave, the troop!
mounted their horses and departed.
My friend told me that he was enabled to verify
the story ; and he subsequently discovered the reali
name of the robber chief. He was an impoverished j
cadet of one of the noblest families in Hungary, j
His fate was sad enough ; he was captured a few
months after this incident, and ended his life under!
the hands of the common hangman.
Keturn to Buda-Pest — All-Souls' Day — The cemetery — Secret
burial of Count Louis Batthyanyi — High rate of mortality at
Some matters of business recalled me to Buda-Pest
in the midst of a round of visits in Transylvania.
The great hospitality of my new friends would have
rendered a winter in that delightful country most
agreeable, but the holiday part of my tour was
over, and circumstances led me to pass some months
in the capital.
I got back just in time for All-Souls' Day. The
Fete des Morts is observed with great ceremony
throughout Hungary, especially at Buda-Pest. In
the afternoon of this day a friend and myself joined
the throng, who were with one accord making their
way eastward along the Kadial' Strasse, the great
thoroughfare of Pest. It appeared as if the whole
population of the town had turned out; private
carriages, tramways, droskies alike were all
crammed, driving in the same direction with the
ceaseless stream of pedestrians. It was the day for
316 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the living to visit their dead ! Attired in black,
almost every one carried a funeral wreath ; even the
poorest and the humblest were taking some floral
offering to their beloved ones who sleep for ever-
more in the great cemetery.
There is a dynamic force in the sympathy of a
crowd. I had the sensation of being carried along
with the moving masses, without the exercise of
my own will, I hardly know how one could have
turned back. And on we went, the light of the
short winter day meanwhile fading quickly into the
gloom of night. Once beyond the gaslighted streets,
the sense of darkness in the midst of the surging
multitude was oppressive and unnatural. We were
borne on towards the principal gate of the cemetery,
and here the effect was most striking. We left the
outer darkness, and stepped into an area of light;
beyond the belt of cypress and of yew there was so
brilliant an illumination that it threw its glowing
reflection on the clouds that hung pall-like over the
In all that crowded cemetery — and it is crowded
— there was not a single grave without its lights.
The most ordinary had rows of candles marking
the simple form of the gravestone ; but there were
costlier tombs, with an array of lamps in banks of
flowers beautifully arranged; and in the mausoleum
all-souls' day in pest. 317
of Batthyanyi the illuminations were effected by gas
in the form of architectural lines of light. At this
point the crowd was greatest. To visit the tomb
of the martyred statesman is deemed a patriotic
duty. The particulars relating to the disposal of
Count Batthyanyi's body after his judicial murder
in 1849 are not very generally known ; the facts are
At the close of hostilities in 1849, Haynau, com-
missioned by the Vienna Government, condemned
people to death with unsparing barbarity — it was a
way the Austrians had of stamping out insurrections.
Amongst their victims was Count Louis Batthyanyi,
some time President of the Hungarian Diet. Hay-
nau wanted to have him hung at the gallows, but
he was mercifully shot at Pest on the 6th October
1849. It is said that the infamous Haynau was
nearly mad with rage that his noble victim escaped
the last indignity of hanging. His remains were
ordered to be buried in a nameless coffin in the
burial-ground of the common criminals, and for
many years it was supposed that he had re-
ceived no other sepulchre. This was not so,
however, for two priests who were grea.tly attached
to the magnate's family procured possession of his
body, and secretly conveyed it to the church in the
Serviten Gasse, where they built up the coffin in
318 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the wall, and carefully preserved it for years. "When
the reconciliation with Austria took place, conceal-
ment being no longer necessary, they revealed their
secret. The coffin was then opened, and it was
found that the features of the unfortunate Batthy-
anyi had been singularly well preserved. Several
who had fought for freedom by his side in 1848
looked once more on the face of their leader. The
subsequent funeral in the new cemetery was made
the occasion of a very marked display of patriotic
feeling. Later an imposing monument was erected,
but Count Batthyanyi's best and most enduring
monument is the part he took in the emancipation
of the serfs.
Turning aside from the public demonstrations
around the tombs of poets and patriots, we wan-
dered down the more secluded alleys of the
cemetery. In a lonely spot, quite away from the
crowd and the glare, we came upon an exquisite
little plot of garden with growing flowers, shrubs,
and cypress-trees, tended, one could see, with loving
care, " and in the garden there is a sepulchre." I
shall not easily forget the look of ineffable grief
visible on the face of an elderly man who was
arranging and rearranging the lights round and
about the family grave. We noticed that the
names on the slab were those of a wife and
A FAMILY GRAVE. 319
! mother, followed by her children, several of them,
sons and daughters, the dates of their decease
being terribly close one upon another. I had a
i conviction that the lonely man we saw there was
i the only survivor of his family ; I feel sure it must
have been so. It was very touching the way in
! which he (aimlessly, it seemed to me) moved first
this light and then the other, or grouped them
1 together around the vases of sweet flowers that
decked the graves. It was all that remained for him
to do for his beloved ones ; and we could see the
poor man was vainly occupying himself, lingering
on, unwilling to leave the spot !
We had not much fancy for returning amongst
the patriotic crowd gathered about the gaslighted
Valhalla, so we made our way out.
We English must have our say about statistics
whenever there is a wedding or a funeral, and as
a fact Buda-Pest comes out very badly in its
death-rate. It is only within the last two or three
years that they have taken to publish the com-
parative returns of the capital cities of Europe, and
| now it appears that Buda-Pest is in the unenviable
position of having on an average the highest death -
I rate of any European town ! By some this is
attributed to the great excess of infant mortality —
consolatory for the grown-up people, as reducing
320 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
their risk ; but the children, who die like flies before
they are twelve months old, may say with the
epitaph in the country churchyard —
" If then we so soon were done for,
What the deuce were we begun for ? "
I do not speak as one with authority, but duly-
qualified persons tell me that nursery reform is
much needed in Hungary. I know not what it is
they do with the children, only it seems the system
is wrong somewhere, as the bills of mortality clearly
Then, again, the position of Pest is not healthy ;
it lies low, indeed some part of the city is built
on the old bed of the Danube. The drainage, how-
ever, is very much improved of late years, and the
magnificent river embankments have done much to
obviate the malaria arising from mud-banks.
Skating — Death and funeral of Deak— Deak's policy — Uneasiness
about the rise of the Danube — Great excitement about inun-
dations — The capital in danger — Night scene on the embank-
ment — Firing the danger-signal — The great calamity averted.
The winter is usually a very pleasant season at
Buda-Pest. There is plenty of amusement ; in
fact, during the carnival, parties, balls, and concerts
succeed one another without cessation. The Hun-
garians dance as though it were an exercise of
patriotism ; with them it is no languid movement
half deprecated by the utilitarian soul — it is a
passion whirling them into ecstasy. But dancing
was not the only diversion. The winter I was
at Buda-Pest a long spell of enduring frost gave
us some capital skating. The fashionable society
meet for this amusement in the park, where there
is a piece of ornamental water about five acres in
extent. Here the Skating Club have established
themselves, having erected a handsome pavilion at
the side of the lake to serve as a clubhouse.
From time to time fetes are given on the ice. I
322 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
was present on more than one occasion, and I must
say it would be difficult to imagine a more animated
or a prettier scene. The Hungarians always dis-
play great taste in their arrangements for festive
gatherings. During the gay carnival of 1876 "all
went merry as a marriage-bell " till the sad news
spread that the great patriot Deak was sick unto
death. Then we heard that he had passed away
from our midst — I say "our midst," for Hungary
throws a glamour over the stranger that is within
her gates, and, moved by irresistible sympathy,
you are led to rejoice in her joy and mourn with
her in her sorrow.
Buda-Pest presented on the day of Deck's funeral
a scene never to be forgotten. It was a whole
people mourning for their friend — their safe guide
in time of trouble, the statesman who of all others
had planted a firm basis of future prosperity.
Francis Deak was endowed with that rare gift
of persuasion which can appeal to hostile parties,
and in the end unite them in common patriotic
action. Any one who has attentively considered
the state of parties in Hungary during the last
decade will know with what irreconcilable elements
the great statesman had to deal. To the Magyars
he said, " He who will be free himself must be
just to others;" while to the Slavs he said,
DEATH OF DEAR. 323
" Labour with us, that we may labour for you."
" Reconciliation " and " compromise " with Austria
were the most unpopular words that could be
uttered at that time, yet Dedk bravely spoke
them in his famous open letter on Easter day
1865. He continued his calm and steady appeal
to public opinion till his patriotic efforts were
rewarded by the close of that long-standing strife
between the Hungarian people and their king.
On the day of the funeral the ground was white
with snow, the cold was intense, but a vast con-
course of people followed Deak to his grave. On
the road to the cemetery every house was hung
with black, the city was really and truly in mourn-
ing ; and well it might be, for their great peace-
maker was dead, the man who beyond all others
of his generation had the power to restrain the
impatient enthusiasm of his countrymen by wise
counsels that had grown almost paternal in their
While we were still thinking and talking of
Deak's political career, a very present cause for
anxiety arose in reference to the state of the
Danube. The annual breaking up of the ice is
always anticipated with uneasiness, for during
this century no less than thirteen serious inunda-
tions have occurred. This year there was reason
324 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
for alarm, for early in January the level of the
river was unusually high, and a further rise had ,
taken place, unprecedented at that season.
The greatest disaster of the kind on record took
place in 1838, when the greater part of Pest was
inundated, and something like four thousand
houses were churned up in the flood ; nor was this
all, for the loss of life had been very considerable,
owing to the sudden nature of the calamity on that
occasion. The recollection of this terrible disaster
within the living memory of many persons kept
the inhabitants of Buda-Pest very keenly alive to
any abnormal rise of the Danube waters. There
were, besides, additional circumstances which created
uneasiness and led to very acrimonious discussions, j
In recent years certain " rectifications " had been
effected in the course of the Danube, which one-i
half of the community averred would for everj
prevent the chance of any recurrence of the catas-
trophe of 1838. But there are always two parties
in every question — " Little-endians " and " Big-end-
ians " — and a great many people were of opinion
that these very "rectifications" were, in fact, an
additional source of peril to the capital.
The case stands thus : the river, left to its own
devices, separates below Pest into two branches,
called respectively the Soroksar and the Promontar ;
RISE OF THE DANUBE. 325
these branches continue their course independently
of each other for a distance of about fifty-seven
kilometres, forming the great island of Csepel,
which has an average width of about five kilometres.
By certain embankments on the Soroksar branch the
regime of the river has been disturbed, and accord-
ing to the opinion of M. Eevy, a French engineer, 1
this has been a grave mistake, and he thinks that
the Danube misses her former channel of Soroksar
more and more. He further remarks in the very
strongest terms upon an engineering operation
" which proposes the amputation of a vital limb,
conveying about one-third of the power and life
of a giant river when in flood — a step which has
no parallel in the magnitude of its consequences in
any river with which I am acquainted."
Now let us see which side the Danube took in the
controversy in the spring of 1876. On the 17th of
February the public mind had been almost tran-
quillised by the gradual fall of the water-level, but
appearances changed very rapidly on the morning of
the 18th, for alarming intelligence came to Buda-
Pest from the Upper Danube. It seems that a
sudden rise of temperature had melted the vast
deposits of snow in the mountains of the Tyrol and
1 The Danube at Buda-Pest. Report addressed to Count Andrassy
by J. J. Revy, C.E. 1876.
326 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
other high ranges which send down their tributary
waters to the Danube. A telegram from Passau
announced the startling news that the waters of the
Inn had risen eleven feet since the afternoon of the
previous day, and further news came that the Danube
had risen twelve and a half feet in the same time.
Following close upon this came intelligence of a
disastrous inundation at Vienna which had caused
loss of life and property. The boats and barges
in the winter harbour of the Austrian capital had
been dragged from their anchorage, covering the
river with the debris of wreckage ; in short, wide-
spread mischief was reported generally from the
There was a prevalent idea that Buda-Pest had
been saved by the flood breaking bounds at Vienna,
but events proved that our troubles were yet to
come. There was a peculiarity in the thaw of this
spring which told tremendously against us. It came
westward — viz., down stream instead of up stream,
as it usually does. This state of things greatly
increased the chances of flood in the middle Danube,
as the descending volume of water and ice-blocks
found the lower part of the river still frozen and
inert. Even up to the 21st the daily rise in the
river was only six inches, and if the large floes of
ice which passed the town had only gone on their
THE CAPITAL IN PERIL. 327
course without interruption all might still have been
well. Unfortunately, however, this was far from
being the case. It seems that at Eresi, a few miles
below Buda-Pest, where the water is shallow, the
ice had formed into a compact mass for the space of
six miles, and at this point the down-drifting ice-
blocks got regularly stacked, rising higher and
higher, till the whole vast volume of water was
bayed back upon the twin cities of Buda and Pest,
the latter place being specially endangered by its
site on the edge of the great plain.
The authorities now devised plans for clearing
away this ice-barrier, which acted as an impediment
to the flow of the river. They tried to blow it up by
means of dynamite, but all to no purpose ; and it
soon became apparent that the danger to the capital
was hourly on the increase. At Pest the excitement
and alarm became intense, for the mighty waters
were visibly and inexorably rising. We saw the
steps of the quay disappear one after another ; then
the whole subway of the embankment became en-
gulfed. Ominous cracks appeared in the asphaltic
promenade of the Corso, and the public were
warned not to approach the railings, lest they
should give way bodily and fall over into the
water, which was lapping at the stonework. The
"High -Water Commission" found it necessary
328 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
to close all the drains, and steam - pumps were
brought into requisition ; the town was in fact
besieged by water, and the enemy was literally at
the gates. The ordinary business of life was sus-
pended. The greeting in the street was not,
"Good-day; how are you V' but, "What of the
Danube ?" "Do you know the last reading of the
register V " Does the water still rise V
" Still rising " — this was always the answer. On
the morning of the 23d the river had risen upwards
of two feet in twenty-four hours. Hundreds of
people now thought seriously of flight from the
doomed city. There was a complete exodus to
the heights behind Buda. The suspension bridge
was crowded day and night by the citizens, carry-
ing with them their wives, their children, and a
miscellaneous collection of valuables. In the town
the shopkeepers removed their goods to the upper
stories, plastering up the doors and windows of the
basement with cement ; and careful householders
laid in provisions for several days' consumption.
The authorities had enough on their hands ;
amongst other things they had to provide means
of rescue, if necessary, for the inhabitants of Old
Buda, New Pest, and other low-lying quarters. The
names of all public buildings standing on higher
levels, or otherwise suitable as places of refuge,
THE DANGER-SIGNAL FIRED. 329
were notified in the event of a catastrophe. Boats
also were drawn up on the Corso and in some of the
squares. From the want of these precautions there
had resulted that lamentable loss of life in 1838.
Furthermore, the public were to be informed
when the danger became imminent by the firing of
cannon-shots from the citadel on the lofty Blocks-
berg, which dominates the town on the Buda side.
The day of the 24th had been wild and stormy,
the evening was intensely dark ; but notwithstand-
ing, thousands, nay half Pest, crowded the river-
bank. For hours this surging multitude moved
hither and thither on the Corso, drawn together
by the sense of common danger and distress.
I was there amongst the rest, peering into the
darkness. My brother s arm was linked in mine,
and we stood for some time on the Corso, just
above the fruit-market, facing Buda ; but nothing,
not even the outline of the hills, was visible in the
thick, black darkness of the night. " Ah ! what is
that? — look!" cried my brother, with a pressure of
the arm that sent an electric shock through my
body. Yes, sure enough, there was a flash of fire
high up on the Blocksberg that made a rift in the
darkness ; and then, before we had time for speech,
there came a sharp, ringing, detonating sound that
made every window in the Corso rattle again.
330 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Once, twice, thrice the booming cannon roared out
its terrible warning. It was the appointed signal,
and we all knew that now the waters had risen so
high that Old Buda and other low-lying districts
were in danger.
That was a terrible night. The general excitement
was intense, and there were few people, I imagine,
in all Pest who slept quietly in their beds.
Every hour news came of the spread of the inun-
dation. The waters were pouring in behind Pest
from the upper bend of the river. Matters looked
very serious indeed. All communication with the
suburb of New Pest was cut off by the inroads of
the flood. The night, with its pall of darkness,
seemed interminable ; but at length the morning
came, and — God help us! — what a sea of trouble
the light revealed! Whole districts under water;
churches and palaces knee-deep in the flood ; and
above Pest — a widespread lake creeping on over
the vast plain.
The only news of the morning was a despairing
telegram from Eresi that the barrier of ice there
was immovable. This meant, as I have said before,
that there was no release for the pent-up waters in
the ordinary course. The accumulated flood must
swamp the capital, and that soon. The river had
ceased to flow past ; it was no longer the " blue
THE CRITICAL MOMENT. 331
Danube " running merrily its five miles an hour,
but a dead sea, an inexorable volume of water,
slowly, silently creeping up to engulf us. Pest
is a city which literally has its foundations made
on the sand ; a portion of it is built on the old
bed of the Danube. Assuming a certain point as
zero, the official measurements were made from
this, and notices were published that if a maxi-
mum of twenty-five feet were attained by the rising
waters, then Pest must inevitably be flooded.
As evening came on, with the cloudy forecast of
more rain, the gravest anxiety was visible on the face
of every soul of that vast multitude. This anxiety
was intensified when it was announced that the
latest measurement was twenty-four feet nine inches;
and what was simply appalling, that the register
marked six inches rise in less than an hour. It was
clear to every one that the critical moment had
arrived. There was little to hope, and much to
fear. Darkness fell upon as dismal a scene as
imagination could well conceive. If the water
once overlapped the embankment at the fruit-
market, it must very soon pour in in vast volume;
for the streets there are considerably lower than the
level of the Corso — as it was, several large blocks
of ice had floated or slid over on the quay. At this
spot a serious catastrophe was apprehended.
332 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
I think it must have been ten o'clock (my friends
and I had just taken a hasty supper) when the
fortress on the Blocksberg again belched forth its
terrible sound of warning. This time there were
six shots fired ; this was the signal of " Pest in
danger." A profound impression of alarm fell on
the assembled multitude. Some went about wring-
ing their hands ; others left the Corso hastily, going
home, I imagine, to tell their women to prepare
for the worst. I was unconscious at the time of
taking note of things passing round me, and it
seems strange, considering the acute tension of my
nerves, that I saw, and can now recall with per-
sistent accuracy, a lot of trivial and utterly unim-
portant incidents that happened in the crowd. I
remember the size and colour of a dog that mani-
fested his share in the common excitement by
running perpetually between everybody's legs,
and I could draw the face of a frightened child
whom I saw clinging to its mother's skirts.
We never quitted the Corso. Though this was the
third night we had not taken off our clothes, it was
impossible to think of rest now. I felt no fatigue,
and I hardly know how the last hour or two passed,
but I heard distinctly above the murmur of voices
the town clocks strike twelve. Just afterwards, a
man running at full speed broke through the crowd,
"the water is falling!" 333
shouting as he went, " The water is falling ! the
water is falling ! " He spoke in German, so I under-
stood the words directly. There was great excite-
ment to ascertain if the report was correct. Thank
God ! he spoke words of truth. The gauge actually
marked a decrease of no less than two inches in the
height of the river, and this decrease had taken
place in the space of half an hour. The river had
attained the highest point when the danger-signal
was fired. It had never risen beyond, though the
level had been stationary for some time.
Every one was surprised at the rapid fall of the
Danube; it was difficult to account for. It soon came
to be remarked that the vast volume of water was
visibly moved onward. If the river was flowing on
its way, that meant the salvation of the city — the
fact was most important. I myself saw a dark
mass — a piece of wreckage, probably, or the carcass
of an animal — pass with some rapidity across a
track of light reflected on the water. It was diffi-
cult to make out anything clearly in the darkness,
but I felt sure the object, whatever it was, was
borne onward by the stream.
It was a generally-expressed opinion that some-
thing must have happened farther down the river
to relieve the pent-up waters. Very shortly of-
ficial news arrived, and spread like wildfire, that
334 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
the Danube had made a way for itself right across
the island of Csepel into the Soroksar arm of the
Csepel is an island some thirty miles long,
situated a short distance below Pest. The engineer-
ing works for the regulation of the Danube had, as
I said before, closed this Soroksar branch, and the
river, in reasserting its right of way to the sea,
caused a terrible calamity to the villages on the
Csepel Island, but thereby Hungary's capital was
Kesults of the Danube inundations— State of things at Baja---
Terrible condition of New Pest — Injuries sustained by the
island garden of St. Marguerite — Charity organisation.
Though Buda-Pest had escaped the worst of the
threatened calamity, the state of the low-lying
suburbs of the town on both sides of the river was
very serious, and, as it turned out, weeks elapsed
before the waters entirely subsided. The extent of
the Danube inundations in 1876 was far greater
than the flood of 1838 ; the latter was localised to
Buda-Pest, where, from the suddenness of the catas-
trophe, the sacrifice of life was far greater than at
present. But on this occasion the mischief was
wide spread indeed. From Passau to Orsova the
banks of the Danube were more or less flooded.
The havoc below Pest was wellnigh incalculable.
The river had in places spread itself out like a small
sea, inundating lands already in seed; this was
specially the case at Paks, where both banks of the
river are equally low — as a rule, the left side was
the more flooded the whole way along.
336 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
At Baja the destruction to property was most
serious. Some very important works had just been
completed, and these were all swept away two
days after the Danube had burst over the Csepel
Island at Pest. It is a matter of interest to note the
travelling rate of the flood, which from being ice-
clogged was less rapid than one would suppose.
Baja is 120 miles below Pest.
The works here referred to were in parts a canal,
to feed the old Francis Canal, which connects the
Danube and Theiss, in order to prevent the stoppage
of traffic, unavoidable at low water. The water and
ice brought down by the flood hurled themselves
with such force against the closed gates of the
canal that they were burst open, and a masonry
wall 7 feet in thickness and 250 in length was
entirely overthrown. This incident, together with
many others, helps to illustrate the action of water
in flood as a factor in certain geological changes —
the gorge of Kasan, to wit, where the Danube has
broken through the Carpathian chain.
In the course of little more than a day the waters
at Buda-Pest had fallen two and a half feet ; but
afterwards the fall was very slow indeed, which
circumstance greatly protracted the misery of the ,
unfortunate inhabitants of Old Buda and New
Pest, the two districts most seriously compromised, i
RESULTS OF THE INUNDATION. 337
Joining a relief party, I went in a pontoon to visit
New Pest. Vast blocks of ice were lying heaped
up amidst the debris of the ruin they had made ;
whole terraces and streets were only distinguish-
able by lines of rubbish somewhat raised above the
flood : the devastation was complete.
On our way to the pontoon we passed a tongue
of land which had not been submerged, with a few
houses intact. In this street, if it may be so called,
a crowd of more than a hundred women was
collected ; these were mostly seated on boxes or
other fragments of furniture that had been saved ;
one and all had their faces turned towards the waste
of waters, where their homes had been. I shall
never forget their looks of mute despair ; there was
no crying, no noise, their very silence was a gauge of
the utter misery that had befallen them.
The sea of trouble in which we found ourselves
was strewn with wreckage of all kinds, including
the bodies of many domestic animals. Doubtless
many lives were lost ; it will perhaps never be
known how many. It was unfortunate that no
service was organised for saving life at the bridges.
Several lamentable accidents and loss of life took
place owing to the drifting away of boats and barges
up stream. A friend of mine saw a barge with four
men on board jammed in between blocks of ice, and
338 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
hurried under the suspension bridge and down the
stream. No one was able to respond to the heart-
rending appeals of the men, who very probably might
have been saved if simply ropes had been hanging
from the bridge. I myself saw a poor fellow perish
in those churning waters ; it was terrible to think
of his thus drowning in the presence of thousands
The amount of wreckage that passed Buda-Pest
gave one some idea of the frightful amount of damage
higher up the stream ; there were heaps of barrels,
woodstacks, trees, furniture, and even houses with
their chimneys standing !
The beautiful island of St. Marguerite, just above
Buda-Pest, suffered most severely. It was four feet
under water ; and the drift ice did immense damage
to the trees, causing abrasions of the bark at eight
to ten feet above the ground.
It may well be imagined that the Charity Organ-
isation Committee had enough on their hands.
Nearly 20,000 people sought the shelter provided in
the public buildings and other places appointed by
the authorities, and for fully a month after the
catastrophe thousands had to be fed daily at the i
Expedition to the Marmaros Mountains — Eailways in Hungary — The
train stopping for a rest — The Alfold — Shepherds of the plain
— Wild appearance of the Rusniacks — Slavs of Northern Hun-
gary — Marmaros Szigeth — Difficulty in slinging a hammock —
The Jews of Karasconfalu — Soda manufactory at Boeska — Ro-
mantic scenery — Salt mines — Subterranean lake.
The spring was already melting into summer — and
the melting process is pretty rapid in Hungary —
when an opportunity occurred enabling me to visit
the north-eastern part of the country with a friend
who was going to the Marmaros Mountains on busi-
ness. Even this wild and remote district is not
without railway communication, and we took our
tickets for Szigeth, in the county of Marmaros, learn-
ing at the same time, to our great satisfaction, that
we could go straight on to our destination without
stopping. Though my friend is a Hungarian the
route was as new to him as to myself.
The railway system has been enormously extended
in this country during the last ten years. In Tran-
sylvania, in the Tokay Hegyalia, in the Zipsland,
and in the mining district of Schemnitz a whole net-
340 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
work of lines has been opened up. Our route from
Debreczin to Szigeth is one of those recently opened.
The railway statistics of Hungary are very signifi-
cant of progress. In 1864 only 1 903 kilometres were
open, whereas ten years later the figures had risen
to 6392 kilometres; and the extension has been very
considerable even subsequently, though enterprise of
every kind received a check in 1873, from which the
country has not yet recovered.
I confess I was very glad to have come in for the
clays of the iron horse, for it would be difficult to
imagine anything more tiresome than a drive on
ordinary wheels across the vast Hungarian plain.
It is so utterly featureless as to be even without;
landmarks. Except for the signs of the heavenly
bodies, a man might, in a fit of absence, turn round
and fail to realise whether he was going backwards
or forwards. Eight or left, it is all the same mono-
tonous dead level, with scarce an object on which to
rest the eye. Here and there a row of acacia-trees i
may be seen marking the boundary of an estate,
and near by the sure indication of a well in the form
of a lofty pole balanced transversely; but even this
does not help you, for " grove nods at grove," and;
what you have just seen on the right-hand side is
sure somehow to be repeated on the left, so you
are all at sea again.
THE ALFOLD. 341
Sometimes a mirage deludes the traveller in the
Hungarian plain with the fair presentment of a lake
fringed with forest-trees ; but the semblance fades
into nothingness, and he finds himself still in an
endless waste, "without a mark, without a bound."
Dreary, inexpressibly dreary to all save those who
are born within its limits ; for, strange to say,
they love their level plain as well, every bit as
well, as the mountaineer loves his cloud-eapped
This plain — the Alfold, as it is called — comprises
an area of 37,400 square miles, composed chiefly of
rich black soil underlain by water-worn gravel —
a significant fact for geologists. It is worthy of
remark that the Magyar race is here found in its
greatest purity. Here the followers of Arpad settled
themselves to the congenial life of herdsmen. At
the railway stations one generally sees a lot of
these shepherds from the puszta, each with his
axe-headed staff and sheepskin cloak, worn the
woolly side outwards if the weather is hot. They
can be scented from afar, and their scent, of all
bad smells, is one of the worst. The fact is, the
shepherds keep their bodies well covered with
grease to prevent injurious effects from the very
sudden changes of temperature so common in all
Hungary. This smearing of the skin with grease
342 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
is also a defence against insects, which seems pro-
bable, if insects have noses to be offended.
Nowhere does the intrusion of modern art and
its appliances strike one more curiously by force
of contrast than in the wilder parts of Hungary.
Just outside the railway station life and manners
are what they were two centuries ago, and yet
here are the grappliDg-irons of civilisation. No
doubt a change will come to all this substratum
of humanity, "but it takes time. Even the railways
in these wilder parts have not exactly settled them-
selves down to the inexorable limits of "time tables."
It occurred on this very journey that we stopped
at some small station, for no particular reason as
far as I could see, for nobody got in or out ; but
the heat was intense, and so we just made a halt
of nearly an hour. I could not make out what was
up at first, but looking out I saw the stokers,
pokers, and engine-driver all calmly enjoying their
pipes, seated on the footboard on the shady side of
the train! Some one or two people remarked that
the officials in this part of the world were lazy
fellows, but the passengers generally appeared in
no great hurry, and after a while the train moved
on again. At several places on the line we passed
luggage trains waiting on the siding for their turn
to be sent on to Buda-Pest. In many of these
SALT EFFLORESCENCE. 343
open trucks we noticed a considerable number of
those fine Podolian oxen, common in these parts,
and lots of woolly-haired pigs, that look for all the
world like sheep at a distance.
The effect of tapping these out-lying districts is
already producing its natural result ; the cultivator
finds a ready market for his produce, and the value
of land is rising, and " must rise in Hungary," says
Professor Wrightson in his report on the agriculture
of the Austro -Hungarian empire. 1
In approaching Debreczin we noticed frequent
instances of the efflorescence of soda-salts upon the
surface of the soil. This occurrence greatly impairs
the fertility of some parts of the Alfbld. Land
drainage would probably cure this evil, but I do
not fancy any serious experiments have been tried.
Skill and labour have not yet been brought to
bear on the greater part of the land in Hungary.
It is a country where a vast deal has yet to be
done, and such are the prejudices of the common
people that improvements cannot be introduced
at once and without some caution ; in fact, the
material conditions of the country itself and the
climate necessitate considerable experience on the
part of any foreigner who may settle in Hungary
and think to import new fashions in agriculture.
1 Journal of Agricultural Society, vol. x. Part xi. No. xx.
344 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Stopping at Debreczin only long enough to get a
little supper at the station restaurant, we pursued
our journey through the night. I do not imagine
that we lost much that was worthy of note owing
to the darkness, for the line continues to traverse a
sandy plain utterly devoid of good scenery. Towards
morning we passed two important towns — namely,
Nagy K^roly and Szathmar. The latter is the seat
of a Catholic bishop, and has no less than 19,000
inhabitants — a good-sized place for Hungary. In
1711 the peace between the Austrians and Eakoczy
was signed in this town. Not far from here are the
celebrated gold, silver, and lead mines of Nagy
We arrived at the junction station of Kiraly-haza
early in the morning, and there learned the agree-
able news that we must wait ten hours, though only
a few miles from our destination. From this place
there is a line to Satoralja-Uihely, a junction on the
main line between Buda-Pest and Lemberg. The
town of Kiraly-haza is situated in a wide valley
bounded by high mountains. The plain is left far
behind, and we are once more under the shadow of
the Carpathians. The heat of the day was intense,
and there was not much in the immediate neighbour-
hood to tempt us out in the broiling sun, so we just
got through the time as best we could. The food was
very bad and the wine execrable, an adulterated
mixture not worthy of the name. This is. a rare
occurrence in Hungary, and it ought not to have
been the case here, for there are good vineyards close
to the town.
It was getting towards evening before our train
appeared, and when it stopped at the station as wild
a looking crew turned out of the carriages as I ever
remember to have seen. On inquiry I found that
these people were Eusniacks. Their occupation at
this time of the year is to convey rafts down the
Theiss. It seems their work was done, and they
were returning by train. After the halt of ten
minutes, and when the passengers were resuming
their seats, I found that these fellows were all
crowded into some empty horse-boxes attached to
the train. The officials treated them as if they
were very little better than cattle. These people,
with their shoeless feet encased in thongs of leather,
with garments unconscious of the tailor s art, and in
some instances regardless of the primary object of
clothes as a human institution, were the most un-
civilised of any I had yet seen in Hungary.
These Eusniacks, or " Little Eussians," as they
are called, are tolerably numerous — not less than
470,000, according to statistical returns. They are
to be found almost exclusively in the north-east of
346 HOUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
Hungary. They were fugitives in the old days from
Russia, to whom they are intensely antagonistic,
having probably suffered from her persecutions. In
religion they are dissenters from the orthodox Greek
Church, assimilating more with Eoman Catholicism.
These people are another variety in the strange
mixture of races to be found in Hungary. It is
thought, and it would seem probable, that the very
fact of the military conscription will help to civilise
these Rusniacks by drawing them out of their savage
isolation in the wild valleys of the Marmaros Moun-
There are many peculiarities respecting the races
inhabiting the northern parts of Hungary. It
would be a great mistake to put the Slavs of the
north in the same category with the Slavs of the
south : the former are on far better terms with the
Magyars ; they are for the most part contented, hard-
working people, not troubling themselves at all
about Panslavism. The reason is not far to seek.
The Slovacks, as they are called by way of distinction,
numbering about two millions, do not belong to the
Greek Church. The greater proportion are Eo-
man Catholics, the rest Lutherans and Calvinists.
Many of the Catholics are said to be descended
from refugees who fled from the tyranny of the
Greek Church in Polish Russia.
MARMAR0S SZIGETH. 347
After leaving Kiraly-haza we got into charming
scenery. As we approached the Carpathians we
passed through vast oak -forests, and here and
there had a glimpse of the Theiss rushing along
over its stony bed. Occasionally we caught sight
of herds of buffaloes bathing in the river. It
is difficult to imagine that these fierce - looking
creatures, with their massive shaggy heads, can
ever be tractable ; yet they can be managed, though
only by kindness — "the rod of correction they cannot
bear." At length we reached the end of our railway
journey. Marmaros Szigeth is the present terminus
of the line, and I should say will very probably
remain such ; for the iron road would hardly
meander through the defiles and over the heights
of the Carpathians, to descend into the sparsely-
inhabited wilds of the Bukovina. We sought out
the principal inn at Szigeth, a wretched place, with
only one room and a single bed at our disposal.
My friend took possession of the bed at my
request, for I told him I was quite independent
of the luxury, having provided myself before I left
England with an excellent hammock made of twine.
I had learned to sleep in these contrivances during
my naval volunteer days, but the order to " sling
hammocks " would not have been easy to obey
under the present circumstances. I was forced to
348 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
put my screws in the floor and hang my net over
some heavy furniture ; but when I got in, the table
that I had chiefly depended upon gave way with a
crash, and I found myself on the floor. My friend
laughed heartily; he had never seen a hammock
before, and, spite of my representations, I do not
think he was properly impressed by the great utility
of the invention. Of course I was not to be foiled,
so I cast about for another method of " fixing." I
tried several dodges, but nothing answered exactly ;
something always gave way after a few minutes of
repose — either I came down with a bump, or some
abominable, ramshackle chest of drawers got over-
Now my friend was very tired and sleepy, and
desired nothing so much as a little repose. My
experiments ceased to interest him, and the noise
caused by my repeated misfortunes irritated him.
A large-minded man would have admired my ten-
acity of purpose, but he did not. One can never
tell what people are till we travel with them. In
a tone of mingled solicitude and irritation he offered
to vacate his bed in my favour. He declared he
would willingly lie on the hard floor, or indeed, if I
would only consent to take his place, he would sit
bolt upright in a chair through the livelong night.
" I will do anything," he added piteously, " if
A PATENT HAMMOCK. 349
you will only be quiet and not try to hang yourself
any more in that horrible netting."
I would not hear of my friend leaving his bed,
and after one or two more mischances self and
hammock were suspended for the night at an angle
a trifle too low for the head. Except for the honour
and glory of the thing, perhaps I might have slept
as well on the floor ; but one does not carry a patent
contrivance all across Europe to be balked of its
use after all.
My friend woke me once during the night by
shaking me roughly. He said I had nightmare, and
made "such a devil of a row that he could not
sleep." I have some dreamy recollection of finding
myself in a London drawing-room in the inex-
pressibly scanty garments of a Rusniack, and when
I turned to leave in all decent haste I found the
way barred by an insolent fellow with the head
of a buffalo bull. When I awoke in the early
morning I found my friend already dressed and
rather sulky. He observed that he had never
met a man so addicted to nightmare as myself,
adding, that another time if I must sleep in my
hammock, it would be better to see that the head
was higher than the feet.
"It does not make any difference to me," I
replied cheerfully, " I am as fresh as a lark."
350 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
There was no time for further discussion, for our
breakfast was ready (a very bad breakfast it was,
too), and the vehicle we had chartered the night
before was also waiting to convey us some miles
into the interior of the country, to the soda manu-
factory at Boeska. On our way we passed through
the village of Karasconfalu, inhabited entirely by
Polish Jews. The dirt and squalor of this place
beggar description. The dwellings are not houses,
but are simply holes burrowed in the sandbanks,
with an upright stone set up in front to represent a
door ; windows and chimneys are unknown. If it
were not for a few erections more like ordinary
human habitations, the place might have passed for
a gigantic rabbit-warren. As we drove through we
saw some of the villagers engaged in slaughtering
calves and sheep in the middle of the road, the blood
running down into a self-made gutter ; it was a
sickening sight. The people themselves have a
most peculiar physiognomy, especially the men,
who in addition to long beards wear corkscrew ring-
lets, which give them a very odd appearance. Their
principal garment is a kind of long brown dressing-
gown, which in its filthy grimness suits the wearer
down to the ground. The feet are bound up in
thongs of leather. The shoemaker s trade is ap-
parently unknown in these parts. The inhabitants
of this delightful village have the reputation of
being a set of born cheats and swindlers ; if it is
true, then certainly the moral is plain, that dis-
honesty is not a thriving trade. The fact is, being
all of one sort, the profession is overcrowded, and
the result is that the sharpest amongst them emigrate,
or rather I should say go farther a-field to exercise
their craft. I am told that many of the low Jews,
who make themselves a byword and a reproach by
their practices of cheating and usury throughout
Hungary, may be traced back to this foul nest in
the Marmaros Mountains. It would be well for the
credit of the Jewish community in Hungary, as well
as elsewhere, if something were done to raise these
people out of the utter degradation which surrounds
them from their birth.
Not far beyond Karasconfalu we came upon
Boeska, situated in the midst of the most beauti-
ful and romantic scenery, not at all suggestive of
the neighbourhood of a chemical manufactory.
Putting up at the house of the manager of the
works, we remained here two or three days, during
which time we made some excursions into the
heart of the mountains. One of our drives took
us some miles along the side of the beautiful river
Theiss, which though a proverbial sluggard when
it reaches the plain, is here a swift and impetuous
stream. Our object was to see the timber-rafts
pass over the rapids ; it was a very exciting
352 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
scene, and as this was a favourable season, owing
to the state of the river, we came in just at the
right time. The Eusniacks — the people generally
employed in this perilous work — certainly display
great skill and coolness in the management of their
ticklish craft. If by any mischance the timbers
come in contact with the rocks, then the danger is
extreme ; and hardly a year passes that some of the
poor fellows do not get carried away in the swirling
waters, which have made for themselves deep and
treacherous holes in this part of the stream.
The pine-trees in the forests of the Marmaros
Mountains are simply magnificent; the birch and
oak are hardly less remarkable. It is really
grievous to see the amount of ruthless destruction
which is allowed to go on in these valuable forests,
more especially in those belonging to the State. It
is the old story — the Eusniack herdsman, to get
herbage for his cattle, will set fire to the forest,
and perhaps burn some hundreds of acres of stand-
ing timber. The result brings very little good to
himself; but the blackened trunks of thousands
of half-burned trees bear witness to the peasant's
inveterate love of waste, and the utter inefficiency
of the forest laws, or rather of their administration.
Throughout Hungary it is the same, the power of
the law does not make itself felt in the remoter
SALT MINES. 353
provinces. For example, in the year 1877 there
have been scores of incendiary fires in the county
of Zemplin ; homesteads, hayricks, and woods have
suffered, and yet punishment rarely falls on the
offender. Government should look to this, for
lawlessness is a most infectious disorder.
The Marmaros district is chiefly known for the
salt mines, which have been worked here for
centuries. Salt is a Government monopoly in
Hungary, and is sold at the high price of five
florins the hundredweight, forming, in fact, an im-
portant source of revenue. The mines at Slatina,
not far from Szigeth, are well worth a visit. One
of the chambers is of immense size ; in this a
pyramid of salt is left untouched, and by its down-
ward growth marks the progress of excavation. At
the foot of this pyramid is a little altar, where
every year, on the 3d of March, mass is celebrated
with great ceremony, that being the day of
Kunigunde, the patron saint of the mines.
One of our expeditions was to visit the mines
at Konasick. Here, too, is an enormous cave
with a dome-shaped roof, one hundred and fifty
feet above the surface of the water, which covers
the floor to the amazing depth, it is said, of three
hundred feet. Part of the visitor's programme is
to be paddled about on this subterranean lake. We
354 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
embarked on a raft slowly propelled by rowers ;
a cresset fire burning brightly at the prow of our
craft cast strange lights and shadows on the
black waters, added to which the shimmering
reflection of the white-ribbed walls had a very
singular effect. But the sensation was still more
weird when we saw other mystic forms appearing
from out the black darkness ; first a mere speck of
red light was visible, till nearing us we beheld other
boats freighted with grim-looking figures that
glided past into the further darkness. These
phantom-like forms, steering their rafts through
the black and silent waters, were grotesquely lit
up from time to time by the pulsating red fire-
light. It might have been a scene from Dante's
It was with the sense of escape from a living
tomb that we emerged from the depths below into
the upper air, and here awaited us a sight never
to be forgotten, more especially for its singular
contrast to the horrid gloom of the under-world.
Here, above ground, in the blessed free expanse of
earth and sky, we beheld the heavens ablaze with
all the intensest glory of a magnificent sunset.
One's soul in deep gladness drank in the ineffable
loveliness of nature, as if athirst for the beauty of
light and life.
The Tokay district — Visit at Schloss G Wild-boar hunting —
Incidents of the chase.
My first expedition to the Tokay district was in the
winter ; I was then the guest of Baron V , who
has a charming chateau, surrounded by an English
garden, in this celebrated place of vineyards.
In the winter there is a very fair amount of good
sport in this part of Hungary. Sometimes one is
enabled to go out hare-shooting in sledges ; of
course the horses' bells are removed on these occa-
sions. Hares are not preserved in the Tokay
district, but they are pretty numerous. I myself
shot fifty-four in the space of a few weeks, which is
nothing compared to an English battue of a single
day ; but then this is sport, and there is immense
pleasure in dashing right across country behind a
pair of fleet horses, thinking yourself well repaid if
you bag a couple or three hares in the afternoon's
scamper. For wolf and wild -boar hunting one
must penetrate into the forests which extend in the
356 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
rear of the southern slopes of this Tokay range of
During my stay at G a party was got up
for a few days' shooting in the interior. On this
occasion we were to shoot in Baron Beust's forests,
which extend over an area of about forty miles
square ; as it may be supposed, the sport is not the
easy affair it is in the well-stocked parks of Bohemia.
There was not snow enough for sledging, so we
drove to the rendezvous on wheels, using the spring-
less carts of the country, the roads being far too
rough for ordinary carriages. Wrapped in our
bundas, we were proof against the cold. The wolf-
skin collar turned up rises above the head and forms
a capital protection ; and very necessary it was on
this occasion, for there was a keen cutting wind the
day we started.
I carried a smooth-bore breechloader charged
with the largest buck-shot in one barrel and with a
bullet in the other. In Hungary the forests are
usually so thick that one scarcely ever fires at a long
range, and heavy shot at a short distance in a
thicket is better than a bullet. After driving in a
break-neck fashion for about two hours we arrived
at the river Bodrog, a tributary of the Theiss.
Nearly every winter the country hereabouts is
under water ; I remember once seeing it when there
was all the appearance of an extensive inland sea.
Sometimes the inundations are disastrous, but the
ordinary flood is an accepted event, and no damage
accrues beyond the prevalence of marsh fever in
April and May, when the water recedes. This part
of the country offers first-rate wildfowl-shooting in
Everywhere in Hungary the different races are
strangely mixed up together : the Tokay Hegyalia,
it is true, is chiefly peopled by Magyars, and the
language is said to be the purest Magyar spoken
anywhere ; but there are Slavs and Jews amongst
them, and our drive of twenty miles brought us
into an area where the Slavs predominate. The
difference of these races is very marked : the one,
fair complexioned and blue eyed ; the Magyar, dark,
almost swarthy amongst the lower classes. At
Olasz-Liszka, a small town within the Tokay
district, there is an Italian colony, as the name
Olasz (Italian) would imply. As long ago as the
days of Bela II. this place was peopled by Italian
immigrants from the neighbourhood of Venice, in-
vited hither by the king, who greatly encouraged
the cultivation of the vine.
Go where you will in this country, there is a
Babel of tongues. In this instance our special
coachman was a Bohemian, speaking his own
358 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
language — a very different dialect from the Slo-
vacks who were the " beaters" for our hunt. The
gamekeepers, or rather the foresters (for the game
is of secondary consideration), were all Magyars.
Their language, as we know, bears no affinity to any
of the rest. The marvel is that the world gets on
at all down here. The gentlemen of our party spoke
together indifferently German, French, and English.
It is curious to hear the peasant come out with,
" Why the Tartar are you doing this ? " for an
angry expletive. It is a relic of the old troubled
times when the country suffered from the frequent
depredations of Turks and Tartars. The Tokay
district, say the chronicles, was fearfully harassed
by the Turks as late as 1678.
It is worth while recalling a contemporaneous
fact. In 1529 the crescent had been substituted
for the cross on the Cathedral of Vienna to pro-
pitiate the Turks, and it was not till 1683 that
the symbol of the dreaded Moslem was removed.
When the Hungarians ceased to fear the Turk,
they ceased to hate him; and since 1848 they
remember only the generous hospitality of the
Porte, and the cruel aggressions and treachery of
the Eussians. The Slav has a longer memory, for
to this day he repeats the saying, " Where the
Turk comes, there no grass grows."
HUNGARIAN DISHES. 359
When we arrived at our destination our appetites
were far too keenly set to think about the Eastern
Question, and right glad were we to see active
preparations for supper. The national dishes, the
gulyas hits and the paprika handl, were produced
amongst a number of other good things, such as
roast hare. You get to like the paprika, or red
pepper, very much. I wonder it is not introduced
into English cookery, it makes such a pretty-coloured
gravy. If the traveller finds himself attacked by
marsh fever, and should chance to be without quinine
(a great mistake, by the way), let him substitute a
spoonful of paprika mixed with a little red wine,
repeating the dose every four hours if necessary.
While smoking our peace - pipes after supper, one
of the keepers came in to announce the welcome
fact that it was snowing hard * fresh-lain snow
would materially increase our chances of tracking
the wild -boar.
Next morning when we started the weather had
somewhat cleared, which was just as well, seeing
we had to walk two or three miles to our first
battue. Arrived at the rendezvous, we found the
"beaters" waiting for us. They were a wild-
looking crew were those Slovacks, with shaggy coats
of black sheepskin, and in their hands the usual
long staff with the axe at one end. Notwith-
360 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
standing their uncouth appearance, later experience
has shown me that the Slovacks, as a rule, are
patient, hard-working people.
The forest where we were consisted entirely of
beech and oak. The acorns attract the wild-boar,
which have increased in a very remarkable manner
in this locality. I was told that twenty years ago
there were no wild-boar in these forests, while now
there are hundreds. This seems odd, for the oak-
trees are pretty well as old as the hills, and offered
the same temptation in the way of food formerly
as now. In fact the increase of the wild-boar is a
serious nuisance to the vine-grower, for they tramp
across to the southern hill-slopes, and occasionally
make raids on the vineyards, devouring the grapes
with unparalleled greediness, and what is still
worse, they will sometimes plough up and destroy
a whole plot of carefully-tended vineyard.
Formerly there were many deer in these forests,
but now there are only a few roedeer. We saw no
traces of wolves on this occasion, but there are
plenty in this part of the country.
We were only ten guns, and were soon posted
each man in his proper position waiting for the
schwarzivild, as the Germans say; but, alas! nothing
appeared till the beaters themselves came in sight.
So we had to organise battue number two. The
A BOAR BATTUE. 361
beaters walk quietly forward, tapping the trees now
and then. This is quite noise enough for the pur-
pose of rousing the game ; if they shouted or made
too much row, the game would get wild and
In the next battue I had hardly been five minutes
at my post when I heard from behind the breaking
of dead branches, as of some animal advancing
slowly. It was a fine buck which made his appear-
ance, but he scented me and made off. Again about
a hundred yards off I got a glimpse of him between
the trees. I fired with effect. We found him after-
wards about two hundred yards farther on, where
he had fallen. It was very provoking ; up to lunch-
time we sighted no wild-boar, though we saw by
the snow that they must have been about the hill-
side during the night. We had soon a good fire
blazing, at which robber-steak was nicely cooked.
I never enjoyed anything more. We washed down
our repast with good Tokay.
After luncheon we commenced work again. By
this time we had advanced into the very heart of
the forest. The smooth boles of the tall beech-trees
looked grand in their winter nakedness, rising like
columns from the white frost-bespangled ground. I
took up my stand, gun in readiness, waiting for the
tramp, the snort, or the grizzly dark form of the
362 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
wild-boar, but nothing came to disturb the utter
solitude of the scene.
But hark ! I hear shots fired repeatedly in the
lower valley. I, too, begin to look out with
quickened pulse, peering into the misty depths of
the forest, and with ear alert for every sound, but all
to no purpose. Nothing comes my way, though
again I hear two more shots echo sharply in the
narrow valley nearer to me than before. After the
lapse of a few minutes the beaters came up, break-
ing through the dead branches of undercover. I
knew now that my own chance was gone, but I was
curious to know what had happened, and joining
two of my friends whose "stand" had been near
mine, we hurried down the valley to see what sport
had turned up for the other guns. On inquiry it
appeared that at least seventy wild-boars had passed
close to one of our party, but the sight of so many
at once had made his aim unsteady, and he only
succeeded in wounding one of the number. The
animal had dashed into the half-frozen stream at
the bottom of the valley, and our friend had to
reload and give him his final shot there.
We formed one more battue, but nothing came
of it, and it was already high time to return to our
quarters, for the whole scene was growing dim in
the wintry twilight. Some of the party, myself
A HERD OF BOARS. 363
included, went by arrangement to the house of one
of the foresters. The good people, in their desire to
be hospitable, gave us a warm reception. They had
heated the rooms to such an extent that we were
almost baked alive.
The next morning we resumed our sport. During
the first battue eight wild-boars were sighted. One
was shot instantly ; the others broke through the
line of beaters, but in doing so a very unusual thing
happened, for one of the foresters succeeded in kill-
ing a boar by a tremendous blow from his axe. We
were very much surprised that the animal had come
near enough, for as a rule they will not approach
human beings except when wounded, and then they
are most formidable assailants. I regret to say that
one of our dogs was ripped up by one of this herd
This was the beginning and end of our sport for
the day. Our indifferent luck was to be accounted
for from the fact of there being, comparatively
speaking, not much snow.
Tokay vineyards — The vine-grower's difficulties — Geology of the
Hegyalia — The Pope's compliment to the wine of Tallya — Towns
of the Hegyalia — Farming — System of wages at harvest — The
different sorts of Tokay wine.
The vintage is the season of all others for Tokay ;
in former days it was a very gay affair, for then
every noble family in Hungary, especially the
bishops, had vineyards in the Hegyalia, and the
magnates came to the vintage with large retinues of
servants and horses ; and feasting and hospitality
were the order of the day. In the good old times
every important event in the family was celebrated
by much drinking of Tokay, but in these degenerate
days other fashions prevail. Before their kingdom
was dismembered the Poles were the best customers
for Tokay wine, but they are too poor now to have
such luxuries ; added to this, Eussia has for nearly
a century past laid an almost prohibitive duty on
Hungarian wine. The fiscal impositions of Austria
have also weighed heavily on Hungary's productions.
At present North Germany and Scandinavia are
TOKAY VINTAGE. 365
amongst the most ready purchasers of Tokay ; and
England is beginning to appreciate the "Szamarodni"
or " dry Tokay," remarkable for the absence of all
In good years the vintage of Tokay may be esti-
mated at something like 150,000 eimers, an eimer
being about two and a half gallons; but a really
good year is the exception, not the rule. For three
years (since 1874) the vintages have all been below
the average. The season of 1876 was a complete
failure ; a disastrous frost on the 19th of May in
that year completely destroyed the hopes and pros-
pects of the vine-grower. Indeed he has a trying
life of it, for his hopes go up and down with the
barometer. If his vines escape the much-dreaded
May frosts, there is a risk that the summer may be
too wet for the grapes, which love sunshine. Then,
again, in the hottest summers there are violent hail-
storms, and in half an hour he may see his promis-
ing crop beaten to the ground. It has been well
remarked that " the weather seems to have no con-
trol over itself in Hungary."
The vine-grower's troubles do not end when the
vintage is successfully over. Tokay is a troublesome
wine in respect to fermentation ; it requires three
years before it can travel, and even when these
critical years are over, the wine will sometimes get
366 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
"sick" in the spring — at the identical time when
the sap rises in the living plant.
The unique quality of the Tokay is due to the
soil, and perhaps to some other conditions ; but not
to the peculiarity of the grape, for, as a matter
of fact, they grow a variety of sorts. The cultiva-
tion of the vine appears to be of great antiquity in
this part of the world. The introduction of the
plant is attributed to the inevitable Phoenician ; but,
treading on more assured historic ground, we find
that King Bela IV., in the thirteenth century,
caused new kinds of grapes to be imported from
Italy, and brought about an improvement generally
in the culture of the vine.
But to return to the question of the soil. The
Tokay Eperies group of hills is one of several well-
defined groups of volcanic rocks that exist in Hun-
gary and Transylvania. In the Tokay district the
formations are partly eruptive, partly sedimentary,
but nowhere older than the Tertiary period, say the
geologists. The Hegyalia (which means " mountain-
slopes" in the Magyar tongue) forms the southern
spur of the extended volcanic region, composed of
trachyte and rhyolithe, beginning at Eperies and
terminating in the conical hill of Tokay, which pro-
trudes itself so singularly into the Alfold, or plain.
But the vine-growing district does not end at
TALLYA WINE. 367
Tokay; it continues on the eastern slopes of the
mountain range as far as Uihely, forming two
sides of an irregular triangle, and the total length,
say from Szanto in the west to Tokay, and from
Tokay to Uihely, being about thirty-eight miles.
As a matter of fact, Tokay, which gives its name
to the wine, does not produce the best vintage ;
other localities are more esteemed. Tallya, for
example, situated a few miles east of Szanto, has
long been renowned. As early as the sixteenth
century the excellence of the wine from this district
was acknowledged by infallible authority. It
appears that during the sitting of the Council of
Trent, wines were produced from all parts for the
delectation of the holy fathers. George Drasko-
vics, the Bishop of Ftinfkirchen, brought some of
his celebrated vintage, and presenting a glass of it
to the Pope, observed that it was Tallya wine.
"Whereupon his Holiness pronounced it to be nectar,
surpassing all other wines, exclaiming with ready
wit, " Summum Pontificum talia vina decent."
This place, so happily distinguished by Papal wit,
is pleasantly situated on the side of the hill ; it
possesses about 2100 acres of vineyards.
The places in the Hegyalia are all called towns,
though in reality they are not much more than
large villages. Tokay has 4000 inhabitants ; it is
368 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
at the foot of the hill, close to the junction of the
Theiss and the Bodrog ; a ruined castle forms a
picturesque object in the foreground, and beyond is
the far-stretching plain. Professor Judd says 1 that
at one period of their history '"the volcanic islands
of Hungary must have been very similar in appear-
ance to those of the Grecian Archipelago." Look-
ing at the conical-shaped hill of Tokay, and the
other configurations of the range, it is quite easy to
take in the idea, and under certain atmospheric
conditions the great plain very closely resembles an
At Tokay the Theiss becomes navigable for
steamers, but the circuitous course of the river
prevents much traffic, more especially since the
extension of railways. The next place is Tarczal,
and here the Emperor of Austria has some fine vine-
yards. Some people have an idea that all the wine
grown in the whole district is Imperial Tokay, and
that the vineyards themselves, one and all, are
imperial property. This is very far from being the
case ; in fact, since 1848, the peasant proprietors
hold more largely than any other class. The easy
transfer of land facilitates the purchase of small lots,
and the result is that every peasant in the Heg-
yalia tries to possess himself of an acre or two, or
1 Ancient Volcanoes of Hungary.
even half an acre of vineyard. The cultivation
seems to pay them well ; but a succession of bad
seasons must be very trying, for the vineyards can-
not be neglected be the year good or bad.
At Zombar, a village in this locality, there is a
good instance of what can be got out of reclaimed
land ; it was formerly under water for the greater
portion of the year. The soil is so rich in decayed
vegetable matter as to be almost black, and now
grows excellent crops of tobacco and Indian corn.
The country north-east of Tokay is certainly the
most picturesque side, there is more foliage, and
there is also water.
The first time I drove through Bodrog-Keresztur,
which is on this side, I thought that, notwithstand-
ing the pretty country, I had never seen so desolate
a place. The town was once famed for its markets,
but the railways have changed all this ; almost
every other house is a ruin, and large trees may be
seen growing between the walls.
In the last century a company of Kussian soldiers
were stationed here for the purpose of buying Tokay
wine for the Eussian Court.
One of the prettiest little places in the Hegyalia
is Erdo-Benye ; it is off the main road, right in
amongst the hills. It boasts the largest wine-cellar
in the whole district ; it has twenty-two ramifica-
370 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
tions at two different levels, the whole being cut out
of the solid rock ; it is more like a subterranean
labyrinth than a cellar. This place was formerly
the property of the renowned family of Bakoczy,
who played no mean part in Hungarian history.
Not far from Erdo-Benye are mineral- water baths,
romantically situated in the oak-forest.
Saros Patak and Uihely are the two most note-
worthy towns in the north-eastern side of the Tokay
triangle. The first named has a Calvinist college of
some considerable reputation, a library of 24,000
volumes, a printing-press, and a botanical garden.
Uihely is the county town of Zemplin. An agri-
cultural show was held here last spring (1877),
which I attended. Our English-made agricultural
implements were very much to the fore on this
occasion. Some people complain of these machines
on the score of their getting out of order rather
easily, and of the immense difficulty of having them
repaired in the country. This objection, I have
heard, does not apply alike to all the English
makers. At this show there were some new kinds
of wine-presses which attracted a good deal of at-
tention ; before long no doubt not a few changes
will be effected in the process of wine-making in
Tokay. Considering that Hungary holds the third
raDk in Europe as a wine-producing country, the
whole question of the manipulation of wine is a
very important one for her.
Amongst the live stock at this show I noticed
some very fine merino sheep. In Hungary the
wool-producing quality is everything in sheep, as
mutton has hardly any value. This was only a
country show, and the horses, from an Englishman's
point of view, were not worth looking at ; but there
are plenty of fine horses in Hungary. The Govern-
ment has been at immense pains to improve the
breed by introducing English and Arabian sires.
For practical purposes the native breed must not
be decried ; the Hungarian horse, though small, has
many excellent qualities. For ordinary animals the
prices are very low, which fact does not encourage
the peasants to take much care of the foals. On
this occasion I bought a couple of horses for farming
purposes ; the two only cost me about £11.
With regard to farming, our English notions of
" high farming " will not do in Hungary ; what is
called the " extensive system " pays best. For
instance, if I were already farming, and had some
disposable capital at hand, I should find it pay me
better to invest in buying more land than in try-
ing to increase the produce of what I had already
in hand. After some practical experience in the
country, I have no hesitation in saying that Hungary
372 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
offers a good field for the employment of English
Vineyards, on the other hand, can only be worked
" intensively." Nothing requires more care and
attention. To begin with, the aspect of the vine
garden influences the quality of the wine im-
mensely. Then there is the soil. The best is the
plastic clay (nyirok), which appears to be the
product of the direct chemical decomposition of
volcanic rock. This clay absorbs water but very
slowly, and is, in short, the most favourable to the
growth of the vine. As the vines are mostly on
the steep hillsides, low walls are built to prevent
the earth from being washed away. In the early
spring one of the first things to be done is to repair
the inevitable damage done by the winter rain or
snow to these walls, and to clear the ditches, which
are carefully constructed to carry off the excess of
water. I should observe that in the autumn, soon
after the vintage, the earth is heaped up round the
vines to protect them from the intense cold which
prevails here, and directly the spring comes, one
must open up the vines again. Id Tokay the vines
are never trellised, they are disposed irregularly,
not even in rows — the better to escape the denuda-
tion of their roots by rain. Each vine is supported
by an oak stick, which, removed in autumn, is
replaced in spring after the process of pruning.
When the young shoots are long enough they are
bound to these sticks, and are not allowed to grow
No less than three times during the summer
the earth should be dug up round the roots of
the vine, and it is very desirable to get the second
digging over before the harvest, for when har-
vest has once commenced it is impossible to get
labourers at any price. The harvest operations
generally begin at the end of June, and last six
weeks. In the part of Hungary of which I am
now speaking the labourer gets a certain proportion
of the harvest. In this district he has every
eleventh stack of corn, and as they are fed as well
during the time, a man and his wife can generally
earn enough corn for the whole year. The sum-
mers are intensely hot, and the work in conse-
quence very fatiguing. The poor fellows are often
stricken with fever, the result, in some cases, of
their own imprudence in eating water-melons to
It is not till the third or fourth week in October
that the vintage is to be looked for. It is not the
abundance of grapes that makes a good year ; the
test is the amount of dried grapes, for it is to these
brown withered-looking berries that the unique
374 ROUND ABOUT THE CARPATHIANS.
character of the wine is due. If the season is
favourable, the over-ripe grapes crack in September,
when the watery particles evaporate, leaving the
rasin-like grape with its un dissipated saccharine
In order to make " Essenz," these dry grapes are
separated from the rest, placed in tubs with holes
perforated at the bottom. The juice is allowed to
squeeze out by the mere weight of the fruit into a
vessel placed beneath. After several years' keeping
this liquid becomes a drinkable wine, but of course
it is always very costly. This is really only a
liqueur. The wine locally called "Ausbruch" is
the more generally known sweet Tokay, a delicious
wine, but also very expensive. It is said to possess
wonderfully restorative properties in sickness and
in advanced age.
Another quality, differently treated, but of the
same vintage, is called " Szamarodni," now known
in the English market as " dry Tokay." This dry
wine preserves the bouquet and strength of the
ordinary Tokay, but it is absolutely without any
appreciable "sweetness." In order to produce
Szamarodni the dry grapes must not be separated
from the others. The proportion of alcohol is from
twelve to fifteen per cent.
When first I saw the vintage in the Tokay district,
I was greatly interested in the novelty of the whole
scene. It is well worth the stranger's while to turn
aside from the beaten track and join for once in
this characteristic Hungarian festivity, for nowhere
is the Magyar more at home than in the vine-
MUIR AND PATERSON, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.
MESSRS BLACKWOOD & SONS'
MESSES BLACKWOOD & SONS'
P U B LIC A T I ONS.
ALISON. History of Europe. By Sir Archibald Alison, Bart.,
i. From the Commencement of the French Revolution to the
Battle of Waterloo.
Library Edition, 14 vols., with Portraits. Demy 8vo, £10, 10s.
Another Edition, in 20 vols, crown 8vo, £6.
People's Edition, 13 vols, crown 8vo, £2, us.
2. Continuation to the Accession of Louis Napoleon.
Library Edition, 8 vols. 8vo, £6, 7s. 6d.
People's Edition, 8 vols, crown 8vo, 34s.
3. Epitome of Alison's History of Europe. 17th Edition, 7s. 6d.
4. Atlas to Alison's History of Europe. By A. Keith Johnston.
Library Edition, demy 4k), £3, 3s.
People's Edition, 31s. 6d.
Life of John Duke of Marlborough. With some Account
of his Contemporaries, and of the War of the Succession. Third Edition,
2 vols. 8vo. Portraits and Maps, 30s.
Essays : Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous. 3 vols.
demy 8vo, 45s.
Lives of Lord Castlereagh and Sir Charles Stewart,
Second and Third Marquesses of Londonderry. From the Original Papers of
the Family. 3 vols. 8vo, £2, 2s.
Principles of the Criminal Law of Scotland. 8vo, 18s.
Practice of the Criminal Law of Scotland. 8vo, cloth
The Principles of Population, and their Connection with
Human Happiness. 2 vols. 8vo, 30s.
On the Management of the Poor in Scotland, and its
Effects on the Health of the Great Towns. By William Pulteney Alison,
M.D. Crown 8vo, 5s. 6d.
ADAMS. Great Campaigns. A Succinct Account of the Principal
Military Operations which have taken place in Europe from 1796 to 1870. By
Major C. Adams, Professor of Military History at the Staff College. Edited by
Captain C. Cooper King, R.M. Artillery, Instructor of Tactics, Royal Military
College. 8vo, with Maps.
LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
AIRD. Poetical Works of Thomas Aird. Fourth Edition, fcap.
The Old Bachelor in the Old Scottish Village. Fcap. 8vo,
ALEXANDER. Moral Causation ; or, Notes on Mr Mill's Notes
to the Chapter on " Freedom " in the Third Edition of his ' Examination of Sir
William Hamilton's Philosophy.' By Patrick Proctor Alexander, M.A..
Author of * Mill and Carlyle,' &c. Second Edition, revised and extended.
Crown 8vo, 6s.
ALLARDYCE. The City of Sunshine.
dyce. Three vols, post 8vo, £i, 5s. 6d.
By Alexander Allar-
ANCIENT CLASSICS FOR ENGLISH READERS. Edited by
the Rev. W. Lucas Collins, M.A. 20 vols., cloth, 2s. 6d. each. Or in 10
vols., neatly bound with calf or vellum back, £2, io*.
Homer : The Iliad. By the Editor.
Homer : The Odyssey. By the Editor.
Herodotus. By George C. Swayne, M.A.
Xenophon. By Sir Alex. Grant, Bart.
Euripides. By W. B. Donne.
Aristophanes. By the Editor.
Plato. By Clifton W. Collins, M.A.
Lucian. By the Editor.
iEscHYLUs. By R. S. Copleston, M.A.
Sophocles. By Clifton W. Collins, M.A.
Hesiod and Theognis. By the Rev. J.
Greek Anthology. By Lord Neaves.
Virgil. By the Editor.
Horace. By Theodore Martin.
Juvenal. By Edward Walford, M.A.
Plautus and Terence. By the Editor.
The Commentaries of Caesar. By An-
Tacitus. By W. B. Donne.
Cicero. By the Editor.
Pliny's Letters. By the Rev. Alfred
Church, M.A., and the Rev. W. J. Brod-
Supplementary Series. Edited by the Same. To be com-
pleted in 8 or 10 vols., 2s. 6d. each. The volumes published contain—
I. Livy. By the Editor. II. Ovid. By the Rev. A. Church, M A.
III. Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius. By the Rev. Jas. Davies, M.A.
IV. Demosthenes. By the Rev. W. J. Brodribb, M.A.
V. Aristotle. By Sir Alexander Grant, Bart., LL.D.
AYTOUN. Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, and other Poems. By
W. Edmondstoune Aytoun, D.C.L., Professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres
in the University of Edinburgh. Twenty-fifth Edition. Fcap. 8vo, 7s. 6d.
An Illustrated Edition of the Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers.
From designs by Sir Noel Paton. Small 4to, 21s., in gilt cloth.
Bothwell : a Poem. Third Edition.
Fcap., 7s. 6d.
- Firmilian ; or, The Student of Badajoz
Tragedy. Fcap., 5s.
- Poems and Ballads of Goethe. Translated by Professor
Aytoun and Theodore Martin. Third Edition. Fcap., 6s.
- Bon Gaultier's Book of Ballads. By the Same. Thirteenth
Edition. With Illustrations by Doyle, Leech, and CrowquilL Post 8vo, gilt
The Ballads of Scotland. Edited by Professor Aytoun.
urth Edition. 2 vols. fcap. 8vo, 12s.
Norman Sinclair. 3 vols, post 8vo, 3 1 s. 6d.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS.
AYTOUN. Memoir of William E. Aytoun, D.C.L. By Theodore
Martin. With Portrait. Post 8vo, 12s.
BAIRD LECTURES. The Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.
Being the Baircl Lecture for 1873. By the Rev. Robert Jamieson, D.D., Min-
ister of St Paul's Parish Church, Glasgow. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
The Mysteries of Christianity. By T. J. Crawford, D.D.,
F.R.S.E., Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, &c. Being
the Baird Lecture for 1874. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Endowed Territorial Work : Its Supreme Importance to
the Church and Country. By William Smith, D.D., Minister of North Leith.
Being the Baird Lecture for 1875. Crown 8vo, 6s.
Theism. ' By Robert Flint, D.D., LL.D., Professor of
Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. Being the Baird Lecture for 1876.
BATTLE OF DORKING. Reminiscences of a Volunteer. From
' Blackwood's Magazine. ' Second Hundredth Thousand, 6d.
By the Same Author.
The Dilemma. Cheap Edition. Crown 8vo, 6s.
A True Reformer. 3 vols, crown 8vo, £1, 5s. 6d.
BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE, from Commencement in 18 17 to
December 1875. Nos. 1 to 722, forming 118 Volumes.
Index to Blackwood's Magazine. Vols. 1 to 50. 8vo, 15s.
Standard Novels. Uniform in size and legibly Printed.
Each Novel complete in one volume.
Florin Series, Illustrated Boards.
Tom Cringle's Log. Copyright Edition.
By Michael Scott.
The Cruise of the Midge. By the Au-
thor of ' Tom Cringle's Log.'
Cyril Thornton. By Captain Hamilton.
Annals of the Parish. By John Gait.
The Provost, and other Tales. By
Sir Andrew Wylie. By John Gait.
The Entail. By John Gait.
Or in Cloth Boards, 2s. 6d.
Shilling Series, Illustrated Cover.
Reginald Dalton. By J. G. Lockhart.
Pen Owen. By Dean Hook.
Adam Blair. By J. G. Lockhart.
Lady Lee's Widowhood. By Col. Ham-
Salem Chapel. By Mrs Oliphant.
The Perpetual Curate. By Mrs Oli-
Miss Marjoribanks. By Mrs Oliphant.
John : A Love Story. By Mrs Oliphant.
The Rector, and The Doctor's Family.
By Mrs Oliphant.
The Life of Mansie Wauch. By D. M.
Peninsular Scenes and Sketches. By
Sir Frizzle Pumpkin, Nights at Mess,
Life in the Far West. By G. F. Ruxton.
Valerius : A Roman Story. By J. G.
Or in Cloth Boards, is. 6d.
Tales from Blackwood. Forming Twelve Volumes of
Interesting and Amusing Railway Reading. Price One Shilling each in Paper
Cover. Sold separately at all Railway Bookstalls.
i. The Glenmutchkin Railway, and other Tales. 2. How I became a Yeoman,
&c. 3. Father Tom and the Pope, &c. 4. My College Friends, &c. 5. Adven-
tures in Texas, &c. 6. The Man in the Bell, &c. 7. The Murderer's Last Night,
&c. 8. DiVasari: a Tale of Florence, &c. 9. Rosaura : a Tale of Madrid, &c 10.
The Haunted and the Haunters, &c. ii. John Rintoul, &c. 12. Tickler among
the Thieves, &c.
They may also be had bound in cloth, i8s., and in half calf, richly gilt, 30s.
or 12 volumes in 6, half Roxburghe, 21s., and half red morocco, 28s.
LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
BLACKMORE. The Maid of Sker. By R. D. Blackmore, Author
of ' Lorna Doone,' &e. New Edition. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
BOSCOBEL TRACTS. Relating to the Escape of Charles the
Second after the Battle of Worcester, and his subsequent Adventures. Edited
by J. Hughes, Esq., A.M. A New Edition, with additional Notes and Illus-
trations, including Communications from the Rev. R. H. Barham, Author of
the ' Ingoldsby Legends.' 8vo, with Engravings, 16s.
BRACKENBURY. A Narrative of the Ashanti War. Prepared
from the official documents, by permission of Major-General Sir Garnet Wolse-
ley, K.C.B., K.C.M.G. By Major H. Brackenbury, R.A., Assistant Military
Secretary to Sir Garnet Wolseley. With Maps from the latest Surveys made by
the Staff of the Expedition. 2 vols. 8vo, 25s.
BROUGHAM. Memoirs of the Life and Times of Henry Lord
Brougham. Written by Himself. 3 vols. 8vo, £2, 8s. The Volumes are sold
separately, 16s. each.
BROWN. The Forester : A Practical Treatise on the Planting,
Rearing, and General Management of Forest-trees. By James Brown, Wood-
Surveyor and Nurseryman. Fourth Edition. Royal 8vo, with Engravings,
£1, us. 6d.
BROWN. A Manual of Botany, Anatomical and Physiological.
For the Use of Students. By Robert Brown, M.A., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.R.G.S.
Crown 8vo, with numerous Illustrations, 12s. 6d.
BROWN. Book of the Landed Estate. Containing Directions for
the Management and Development of the Resources of Landed Property. By
Robert C. Brown, Factor and Estate Agent. Large 8vo, with Illustrations, 21s.
BUCHAN. Handy Book of Meteorology. By Alexander Buchan,
M.A., F.R.S.E., Secretary of the Scottish Meteorological Society, &c. A New
Edition, being the Third. [In the press.
Introductory Text-Book of Meteorology. Crown 8vo, with
8 Coloured Charts and other Engravings, pp. 218. 4s. 6d.
BURBIDGE. Domestic Floriculture, Window Gardening, and
Floral Decorations. Being practical directions for the Propagation, Culture,
and Arrangement of Plants and Flowers as Domestic Ornaments. By F. W.
Burbidge. Second Edition. Crown 8vo, with numerous Illustrations, 7s. 6d.
Cultivated Plants : Their Propagation and Improvement.
Including Natural and Artificial Hybridisation, Raising from Seed, Cuttings,
and Layers, Grafting and Budding, as applied to the Families and Genera in
Cultivation. Crown 8vo, with numerous Illustrations, 12s. 6d.
BURN. Handbook of the Mechanical Arts Concerned in the Con-
struction and Arrangement of Dwell ing-Houses and other Buildings , with
Practical Hints on Road-making and the Enclosing of Land. By Robert Scott
Burn, Engineer. Second Edition. Crown 8vo, 6s. 6d.
BUTT. Miss Molly. By Beatrice May Butt. Third Edition.
Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Eugenie. By the Author of ' Miss Molly.' Crown 8vo,
Christmas Roses. Tales for Young People. By Geral-
dine Butt, Author of ' Lads and Lasses.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS.
BURTON. The History of Scotland : From Agricola's Invasion to
the Extinction of the last Jacobite Insurrection. By John Hill Burton,
Historiographer-Royal for Scotland. New and Enlarged Edition, 8 vols,
crown 8vo, £3, 3s.
The Cairngorm Mountains. Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
History of the British Empire during the Reign of Queen
Anne. [Preparing for publication.
CAIRD. Sermons. By John Caird, D.D., Principal of the Uni-
versity of Glasgow. Thirteenth Thousand. Fcap. 8vo, 5s.
Religion in Common Life. A Sermon preached in Crathie
Church, October 14, 1855, before Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Albert.
Published by Her Majesty's Command. Price One Shilling. Cheap Edition,
CARLYLE. Autobiography of the Rev. Dr Alexander Carlyle,
Minister of Inveresk. Containing Memorials of the Men and Events of his
Time. Edited by John Hill Burton. 8vo. Third Edition, with Portrait,
CAUVIN. A Treasury of the English and German Languages.
Compiled from the best Authors and Lexicographers in both Languages.
Adapted to the Use of Schools, Students, Travellers, and Men of Business;
and forming a Companion to all German-English Dictionaries. By Joseph
Cauvin, LL.D. & Ph.D., of the University of Gottingen, &c. Crown 8vo,
CHARTERIS. Life of the Rev. James Robertson, D.D., F.R.S.E.,
Professor of Divinity and Ecclesiastical History in the University of Edinburgh.
By Professor Charteris. With Portrait. 8vo, 10s. 6d.
CHEVELEY NOVELS, THE. A Modern Minister. To be com-
pleted in Fourteen Monthly Parts, price is. each, with Two Illustrations.
CHURCH SERVICE SOCIETY. A Book of Common Order :
Being Forms of Worship issued by the Church Service Society. Fourth Edi-
CLIFFORD. The Agricultural Lock-Out of 1874. With Notes
upon Farming and Farm Labour in the Eastern Counties. By Frederick
Clifford, of the Middle Temple. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
COLQUHOUN. The Moor and the Loch. A New and Enlarged
Edition. By John Colquhoun. [In preparation.
CORKRAN. Bessie Lang: A Story of Cumberland Life.
Alice Corkran. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
COTTERILL. The Genesis of the Church. By the Right. Rev.
Henry Cotterill, D.D., Bishop of Edinburgh. Demy 8vo, 16s.
COURTHOPE. The Paradise of Birds : An Old Extravaganza in
a Modern Dress. By William John Courthope, Author of ' Ludibria Lunse.'
Second Edition, 3s. 6d.
CRANSTOUN. The Elegies of Albius Tibullus. Translated into
English Verse, with Life of the Poet, and Illustrative Notes. By James Cran-
stoun, LL.D., Author of a Translation of ' Catullus.' Crown 8vo, 6s. 6d.
LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
CRANSTOUN. The Elegies of Sextus Properties. Translated into
English Verse, with Life of the Poet, and Illustrative Notes. By the Same.
Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
CRAWFORD. The Doctrine of Holy Scripture respecting the
Atonement. By the late Thomas J. Crawford, D.D., Professor of Divinity in
the University of Edinburgh. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. 8vo, 12s.
The Fatherhood of God, Considered in its General and
Special Aspects, and particularly in relation to the Atonement, with a Re-
view of Recent Speculations on the Subject. Third Edition, Revised and
Enlarged. 8vo, 9s.
The Preaching of the Cross, and other Sermons. 8vo,
Mysteries of Christianity ; being the Baird Lecture for
1874. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
CUMMING. From Patmos to Paradise ; or, Light on the Past, the
Present, and the Future. By the Rev. John Cumming, D.D., F.R.S.E., Min-
ister of the Scotch National Church, Crown Court, Covent Garden, London.
Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
DESCARTES. On the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason,
and Seeking Truth in the Sciences ; and his Meditations, and Selections from
his Principles of Philosophy. Crown 8vo, 4s. 6d.
DICKSON. Japan ; being a Sketch of the History, Government,
and Officers of the Empire. By Walter Dickson. 8vo, 15s.
DILEMMA, THE. By the Author of the 'Battle of Dorking.'
Cheap Edition, 6s.
EAGLES. Essays. By the Rev. John Eagles, A.M. Oxon. Ori-
ginally published in ' Blackwood's Magazine.' Post 8vo, 10s. 6d.
The Sketcher. Originally published in ' Blackwood's
Magazine.' Post 8vo, 10s. 6d.
ELIOT. Adam Bede. By George Eliot. A New Edition. 3s. 6d.,
The Mill on the Floss. 3s. 6d., cloth.
Scenes of Clerical Life. 3s., cloth.
Silas Marner : The "Weaver of Raveloe. 2s. 6d., cloth.
Felix Holt, the Radical. 3s. 6d., cloth.
Middlemarch. In 1 vol., 7s. 6d. Also, a Library Edition,
in 4 vols, small 8vo, 21s., cloth.
Daniel Deronda. 4 vols., £1, is.
The Spanish Gypsy. Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.,
- The Legend of Jubal, and other Poems. Second Edition.
Fcap. 8vo, 6s., cloth.
- Wise, Witty, and Tender Sayings, in Prose and Verse.
Selected from the Works of George Eliot. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo, 6s.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS.
ESSAYS ON SOCIAL SUBJECTS. Originally published in
the ' Saturday Review.' A New Edition. First and Second Series. 2 vols.,
crown 8vo, 6s. each.
EWALD. The Crown and its Advisers ; or, Queen, Ministers,
Lords, and Commons. By Alexander Charles Ewald, F.S.A. Crown 8vo,
FERRIER. Philosophical Works of the late James F. Ferrier,
A.B. Oxon., Professor of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy, St Andrews.
New Edition. Edited by Sir Alex. Grant, Bart., D.C.L., and Professor
Lushington. 3 vols, crown 8vo, 34s. 6d.
Institutes of Metaphysic. Third Edition. 10s. 6d.
Lectures on the Early Greek Philosophy. Second Edition.
Philosophical Remains, including the Lectures on Early
Greek Philosophy. 2 vols., 24s.
FERRIER. Mottiscliffe ; An Autumn Story. By James Walter
Ferrier. 2 vols, crown 8vo, 17s.
FINLAY. History of Greece under Foreign Domination. By
the late George Finlay, LL.D., Athens. 6 vols. 8vo— viz. :
Greece under the Romans. B.C. 146 to a.d. 717. A Historical
View of the Condition of the Greek Nation from its Conquest by the Ro-
mans until the Extinction of the Roman Power in the East. Second Edi-
Historj'- of the Byzantine Empire, a.d. 716 to 1204 ; and of
the Greek Empire of Nicsea and Constantinople, a.d. 1204 to 1453. 2 vols.
£x, 7s. 6d.
Greece under Othoman and Venetian Domination, a.d. 1453
to 1821. ios. 6d.
History of the Greek Revolution of 1830. 2 vols. 8vo, £1, 4s.
FLINT. The Philosophy of History in Europe. Vol. I., contain-
ing the History of that Philosophy in France and Germany. By Robert Flint,
Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. 8vo, 15s.
Theism. Being the Baird Lecture for 1876. Cr. 8vo, 7s. 6d.
FORBES. The Campaign of Garibaldi in the Two Sicilies : A Per-
sonal Narrative. By Charles Stuart Forbes, Commander, R.N. Post 8vo,
with Portraits, 12s.
FOREIGN CLASSICS FOR ENGLISH READERS. Uniform
with 'Ancient Classics for English Readers.' Edited by Mrs Oliphant.
1. Dante. By the Editor, now published, price 2s. 6d.
In preparation :—
Voltaire. By Col. Hamley. I Petrarch. By Dr H. Reeve.
Pascal. By Principal Tulloch. Cervantes. By the Editor.
Goethe. By A. Hayward, Q.C. | Montaigne. By Rev. W. L. Collins.
FRASER. Handy Book of Ornamental Conifers, and of Rhododen-
drons and other American Flowering Shrubs, suitable for the Climate and Soils
of Britain. With descriptions of the best kinds, and containing Useful Hints
for their successful Cultivation. By Hugh Eraser, Fellow of the Botanical
Society of Edinburgh. Crown 8vo, 6s.
10 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
GALT. Annals of the Parish. By John Galt. Fcap. 8vo, 2s.
The Provost. Fcap. 8vo, 28.
Sir Andrew Wylie. Fcap. 8vo, 2s.
The Entail ; or, The Laird of Grippy. Fcap. 8vo, 2S.
GARDENER, THE : A Magazine of Horticulture and Floriculture.
Edited by David Thomson, Author of • The Handy Book of the Flower-Gar-
den, ' &c. ; Assisted by a Staff of the best practical Writers. Published Monthly.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
Family Prayers. Authorised by the General Assembly of
the Church of Scotland. A New Edition, crown 8vo, in large type, 4s. 6d.
Another Edition, crown 8vo, 2s.
• Prayers for Social and Family Worship. For the Use of
Soldiers, Sailors, Colonists, and Sojourners in India, and other Persons, at
home and abroad, who are deprived of the ordinary services of a Christian
Ministry. Second Edition, crown 8vo, 4s. Cheap Edition, is. 6d.
The Scottish Hymnal. Hymns for Public Worship. Pub-
lished for Use in Churches by Authority of the General Assembly. Various
sizes — viz. : 1. Large type, cloth, red edges, is. 6d. ; French morocco, 2s. 6d. ;
calf, 6s. 2. Bourgeois type, cloth, red edges, is. ; French morocco, 2s. 3.
Minion type, limp cloth, 6d. ; French morocco, is. 6d. 4. School Edition, in
paper cover, 2d. No. 1, bound with the Psalms and Paraphrases, cloth, 3s. ;
French morocco, 4s. 6d. ; calf, 7s. 6d. No. 2, bound with the Psalms and Para-
phrases, cloth, 2S. ; French morocco, 3s.
The Scottish Hymnal, with Music. Selected by the Com-
mittees on Hymns and on Psalmody. The harmonies arranged by W. H. Monk.
Cloth, is. 6d. ; French morocco, 3s. 6d. The same in the Tonic Sol-fa Notation,
is. 6d. and 3s. 6d.
GLEIG. The Subaltern. By G. R. Gleig, M.A., late Chaplain-
General of her Majesty's Forces. Originally published in ' Blackwood's Maga-
zine.' Library Edition. Revised and Corrected, with a New Preface. Crown
8vo, 7s. 6d.
The Great Problem : Can it be Solved 1 8vo, 10s. 6d.
GOETHE'S FAUST. Translated into English Verse by Theodore
Martin. Second Edition, post 8vo, 6s. Cheap Edition, fcap., 3s. 6d.
Poems and Ballads of Goethe. Translated by Professor
Aytoun and Theodore Martin. Second Edition, fcap. 8vo, 6s.
GRAHAM. Annals and Correspondence of the Viscount and First
and Second Earls of Stair. By John Murray Graham. 2 vols, demy 8vo,
with Portraits and other Illustrations. £1, 8s.
Memoir of Lord Lynedoch. Second Edition, crown 8vo, 5s.
GRANT. A Walk across Africa ; or, Domestic Scenes from my
Nile Journal. By James Augustus Grant, Captain H.M. Bengal Army, Fel-
low and Gold Medallist of the Royal Geographical Society. 8vo, with Map, 15s.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 11
GRANT. Incidents in the China War of i860. Compiled from
the Private Journals of the late General Sir Hope Grant, G.C.B. By Henry
Knollys, Captain Royal Artillery ; Author of* From Sedan to Saarbrtlck,' &c.
Crown 8vo, with Maps, 12s.
Incidents in the Sepoy War of 1857-58. Compiled from
the Private Journals of the late General Sir Hope Grant, G.C.B. ; together
with some Explanatory Chapters by Captain Henry Knollys, R.A. Crown
Svo, with Map and Plans, 12s.
GRANT. Memorials of the Castle of Edinburgh. By James
Grant. A New Edition. Crown 8vo, with 12 Engravings, 2s.
HAMERTON. Wenderholme : A Story of Lancashire and York-
shire Life. By Philip Gilbert Hamerton, Author of 'A Painter's Camp.' A
New Edition. Crown 8vo, 6s.
HAMILTON. Lectures on Metaphysics. By Sir William Hamil-
ton, Bart., Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh.
Edited by the Rev. H. L. Mansel, B.D., LL.D., Dean of St Paul's ; and John
Veitch, M.A., Professor of Logic and Rhetoric, Glasgow. Sixth Edition. 2
vols. 8vo, 24s.
Lectures on Logic. Edited by the Same. Third Edition.
2 vols. 24S.
Discussions on Philosophy and Literature, Education and
University Reform. Third Edition, 8vo, 21s.
Memoir of Sir William Hamilton, Bart., Professor of Logic
and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. By Professor Veitch of the
University of Glasgow. 8vo, with Portrait, 18s.
HAMILTON. Annals of the Peninsular Campaigns. By Captain
Thomas Hamilton. Edited by F. Hardman. 8vo, 16s. Atlas of Maps to
illustrate the Campaigns, 12s.
HAMLEY. The Operations of War Explained and Illustrated. By
Edward Bruce Hamley, Colonel in the Royal Artillery, Companion of the
Bath, Commandant of the Staff College, &c. Third Edition, 4to, with numer-
ous Illustrations, 30s.
The Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol. Written in the
Camp. With Illustrations drawn in Camp by the Author. 8vo, 21s.
- On Outposts. Second Edition. 8vo, 2s.
Wellington's Career ; A Military and Political Summary.
Crown 8vo, 2s.
Lady Lee's Widowhood. Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
Our Poor Relations. A Philozoic Essay. With Illustra-
tions, chiefly by Ernest Griset. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 3s. 6d.
HANDY HORSE-BOOK ; or, Practical Instructions in Riding,
Driving, and the General Care and Management of Horses. By 'Magenta.'
A New Edition, with 6 Engravings, 4s. 6d.
By the Same.
Our Domesticated Dogs : their Treatment in reference to Food,
Diseases, Habits, Punishment, Accomplishments. Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
12 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
HARBORD. A Glossary of Navigation. Containing the Defini-
tions and Propositions of the Science, Explanation of Terras, and Description of
Instruments. By the Rev. J. B. Harbord, M.A., Assistant Director of Educa-
tion, Admiralty. Crown 8vo. Illustrated with Diagrams, 6s.
Definitions and Diagrams in Astronomy and Navigation.
Short Sermons for Hospitals and Sick Seamen. Fcap. 8vo,
cloth, 4s. 6d.
HARDMAN. Scenes and Adventures in Central America. Edited
by Frederick Hardman. Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
HASTINGS. Poems. By the Lady Flora Hastings. Edited by
her Sister, the late Marchioness of Bute. Second Edition, with a Portrait.
Fcap., 7s. 6d.
HAY. The Works of the Right Rev. Dr George Hay, Bishop of
Edinburgh. Edited under the Supervision of the Right Rev. Bishop Strain.
With Memoir and Portrait of the Author. Complete Edition, 7 vols, crown
8vo, bound in extra cloth, .£1, us. 6d. Or, sold separately— viz. :
The Sincere Christian Instructed in the Faith of Christ
from the Written Word. 2 vols., 8s.
The Devout Christian Instructed in the Law of Christ
from the Written Word. 2 vols., 8s.
The Pious Christian Instructed in the Nature and Practice
of the Principal Exercises of Piety. 1 vol. , 43.
The Scripture Doctrine of Miracles Displayed. 2 vols.,
HEMANS. The Poetical Works of Mrs Hemans. Copyright Edi-
One Volume, royal 8vo, 5s.
The Same, with Illustrations engraved on Steel, bound in cloth, gilt edges,
Six Volumes, fcap., 12s. 6d.
Seven Volumes, fcap., with Memoir by her Sister. 35s.
Select Poems of Mrs Hemans. Fcap., cloth, gilt edges, 3s.
Memoir of Mrs Hemans. By her Sister. With a Por-
trait, fcap. 8vo, 5s.
HOLE. A Book about Roses, how to Grow and Show Them. By
the Rev. Canon Hole. Sixth Edition, Enlarged. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
HOMER. The Odyssey. Translated into English Verse in the
Spenserian Stanza. By Philip Stanhope Worsley. Third Edition, 2 vols,
The Iliad. Translated by P. S. Worsley and Professor
Conington. 2 vols, crown 8vo, 21s.
HO SACK. Mary Queen of Scots and Her Accusers. Containing a
Variety of Documents never before published. By John Hosack, Barrister-
at-Law. A New and Enlarged Edition, with a Photograph from the bust on
the Tomb in Westminster Abbey. 2 vols. 8vo, £1, us. 6d. The Second Vol-
ume may be had separately, price 16s. 6d.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 13
INDEX GEOGRAPHICUS : Being a List, alphabetically arranged,
of the Principal Places on the Globe, with the Countries and Subdivisions of
the Countries in which they are situated, and their Latitudes and Longitudes.
Applicable to all Modern Atlases and Maps. Imperial 8vo, pp. 676, 21s.
JOHNSON. The Scots Musical Museum. Consisting of upwards
of Six Hundred Songs, with proper Basses for the Pianoforte. Originally pub-
lished by James Johnson ; and now accompanied with Copious Notes and
Illustrations of the Lyric Poetry and Music of Scotland, by the late William
Stenhouse; with additional Notes and Illustrations, by David Laing and
C. K. Sharpe. 4 vols. 8vo, Roxburghe binding, £2, 12s. 6d.
JOHNSTON. Notes on North America : Agricultural, Economi-
cal, and Social. By Professor J. F. W. Johnston. 2 vols, post 8vo, 21s.
The Chemistry of Common Life. With 113 Illustrations
on Wood, and a Copious Index. 2 vols, crown 8vo, us. 6d.
Professor Johnston's Elements of Agricultural Chemistry
and Geology. The Tenth Edition, Revised and brought down to date. By
Charles A. Cameron, M.D., F.R.C.S.I., &c. Fcap. 8vo, 6s. 6d.
KING. The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Translated in English Blank
Verse. By Henry King, M.A., Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, and of
the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. Crown 8vo, 10s. 6d.
KINGLAKE. History of the Invasion of the Crimea. By A. W.
Kinglake. Cabinet Edition. This Edition comprises in Six Volumes, crown
8vo, at 6s. each, the contents of the Five Octavo Volumes of the present Edi-
tion, revised and prepared for the Cabinet Edition by the Author. The Vol-
umes respectively contain :—
I. The Origin of the War between the Czar and the Sultan.
II. Russia Met and Invaded. With 4 Maps and Plans.
III. The Battle of the Alma. With 14 Maps and Plans.
IV. Sebastopol at Bay. With 10 Maps and Plans.
V. The Battle of Balaclava. With 10 Maps and Plans.
VI. The Battle of Inkerman. with 11 Maps and Pians.
The Cabinet Edition is so arranged that each volume contains a complete subject.
Sold separately at 6s.
KNOLLYS. The Elements of Field- Artillery. Designed for the
Use of Infantry and Cavalry Officers. By Henry Knollys, Captain Royal
Artillery; Author of 'From Sedan to Saarbruck,' Editor of 'Incidents in the
Sepoy War,' &c. With Engravings. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
KNOX. John Knox's Liturgy : the Book of Common Order, and
the Directory for Public Worship of the Church of Scotland. With Historical
Introductions and Illustrative Notes by the Rev. George W. Sprott, B.A.,
and the Rev. Thomas Leishman, D.D. Handsomely printed, in imitation of
the large editions of Andro Hart, on toned paper, bound in cloth, red edges,
LAVERGNE. The Rural Economy of England, Scotland, and Ire-
land. By Leonce de Lavergne. Translated from the French. With Notes
by a Scottish Farmer. 8vo, 12s.
LEE. Lectures on the History of the Church of Scotland, from the
Reformation to the Revolution Settlement. By the late Very Rev. John Lee,
D.D.,. LL.D., Principal of the University of Edinburgh. With Notes and Ap-
pendices from the Author's Papers. Edited by the Rev. William Lee, D.D.
2 vols. 8vo, 21s.
LEWES. The Physiology of Common Life. By George H.
Lewes, Author of 'Sea-side Studies,' &e. Illustrated with numerous Engrav-
ings. 2 vols., 12s.
14 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
LIE. The Pilot and His Wife. From the Norwegian of Jonas
Lie. Translated by J. L. Tottenham. Crown 8vo, ios. 6d.
LOCKHAET. Doubles and Quits. By Colonel L. W. M. Lock-
hart. With Twelve Illustrations. 2 vols, post 8vo, 21s.
Fair to See : a Novel. New Edition, 1 volume, 6s.
LYON. History of the Kise and Progress of Freemasonry in Scot-
land. By David Murray Lyon, Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
In small quarto. Illustrated with numerous Portraits of Eminent Members of
the Craft, and Facsimiles of Ancient Charters and other Curious Documents.
£1, us. 6d.
LYTTON. Speeches, Spoken and Unspoken. By Edward Lord
Lytton. With a Memoir by his son, Robert Lord Lytton. 2 volumes, 8vo,
M'COMBIE. Cattle and Cattle-Breeders. By William M'Combie,
M.P., Tillyfour. A New and Cheaper Edition, 2s. 6d., cloth.
M'CRIE. Works of the Kev. Thomas M'Crie, D.D. Uniform Edi-
tion. Four vols, crown 8vo, 24s.
Life of John Knox. Containing Illustrations of the His-
tory of the Reformation in Scotland. Crown 8vo, 6s. Another Edition, 3s. 6d.
Life of Andrew Melville. Containing Illustrations of the
Ecclesiastical and Literary History of Scotland in the Sixteenth and Seven-
teenth Centuries. Crown 8vo, 6s.
History of the Progress and Suppression of the Reforma-
tion in Italy in the Sixteenth Century. Crown 8vo, 4s.
History of the Progress and Suppression of the Reforma-
tion in Spain in the Sixteenth Century. Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
Sermons, and Review of the ' Tales of My Landlord.' Crown
■ Lectures on the Book of Esther. Fcap. 8vo, 5s.
M'INTOSH. The Book of the Garden. By Charles M'Intosh,
formerly Curator of the Royal Gardens of his Majesty the King of the Belgians,
and lately of those of his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, K.G., at Dalkeith Pal-
ace. Two large vols, royal 8vo, embellished with 1350 Engravings.
Vol. I. On the Formation of Gardens and Construction of Garden Edifices. 776
pages, and 1073 Engravings, £2, ios.
Vol. II. Practical Gardening. 868 pages, and 279 Engravings, £1, 17s. 6d.
MACKENZIE. Studies in Roman Law. With Comparative Views
of the Laws of France, England, and Scotland. By Lord Mackenzie, one of
the Judges of the Court of Session in Scotland. Fourth Edition, Edited by
John Kirkpatrick, Esq., M.A. Cantab.; Dr Jur. Heidelb. ; LL.B., Edin. ;
Advocate. 8vo, 12s. 6d.
MACKAY. A Manual of Modern Geography, Mathematical, Phys-
ical, and Political. By the Rev. Alexander Mackay, LL.D., F.R.G.S. New
and Greatly Improved Edition. Crown 8vo, pp. 676. 7s. 6d.
Elements of Modern Geography. Fifteenth Edition, re-
vised to the present time. Crown 8vo, pp. 300, 3s.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 15
MACKAY. The Intermediate Geography. Intended as an Interme-
diate Book between the Author's ' Outlines of Geography,' and ' Elements of
Geography.' Third Edition, crown 8vo, pp. 224, 2s.
Outlines of Modern Geography. Eighteenth Edition, re-
vised to the Present Time. i8mo, pp.
First Steps in Geography. i8mo, pp. 56. Sewed, 4d.
Elements of Physiography and Physical Geography. With
Express Reference to the Instructions recently issued by the Science and Art
Department. Crown 8vo, is. 6d.
MAJENDIE. Giannetto. By Lady Margaret Majendie. Crown
MARSHALL. International Vanities. By Frederic Marshall.
Originally published in 'Blackwood's Magazine.' 8vo, 10s. 6d.
French Home Life. By " an English Looker-on, who has
lived for a quarter of a century in France, amidst ties and affections which
have made that country his second home." — Preface.
Contents: Servants.— Children.— Furniture.— Food.— Manners.— Language.— Dress.
- Marriage. Second Edition. 5s.
MARSHMAN. History of India. From the Earliest Period to the
Close of the India Company's Government ; with an Epitome of Subsequent
Events. By John Clark Marshman, C.S.I. Abridged from the Author's
larger work. Crown 8vo, 6s. 6d.
MARTIN. Goethe's Faust. Translated by Theodore Martin.
Second Edition, crown 8vo, 6s. Cheap Edition, 3s. 6d.
The Odes of Horace. With Life and Notes. Third Edi-
tion, post 8vo, 9s.
- Catullus. With Life and Notes. Second Edition, post 8vo,
- The Vita Nuova of Dante. With an Introduction and
Notes. Second Edition, crown 8vo, 5s.
- Aladdin : A Dramatic Poem. By Adam Oehlenschlaeger.
Fcap. 8vo, 5s.
- Correggio: A Tragedy. By Oehlenschlaeger. With
Notes. Fcap. 8vo, 3s.
King Rene's Daughter : A Danish Lyrical Drama. By
MERCER. Journal of the Waterloo Campaign : Kept throughout
the Campaign of 181 5. By General Cavalie Mercer, Commanding the 9th
Brigade Royal Artillery. 2 vols, post 8vo, 21s.
MINTO. A Manual of English Prose Literature, Biographical
and Critical : designed mainly to show Characteristics of Style. By W. Minto,
M.A. Crown 8vo, 10s. 6d.
Characteristics of English Poets, from Chaucer to Shirley.
Crown 8vo, gs.
16 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
MITCHELL. Biographies of Eminent Soldiers of the last Four
Centuries. By Major-General John Mitchell, Author of 'Life of Wallenstein.
With a Memoir of the Author. 8vo, 9s.
MOLR. Poetical Works of D. M. Mom (Delta). With Memoir by
Thomas Aird, and Portrait. Second. Edition. 2 vols, fcap 8vo, 12s.
Domestic Verses. New Edition, fcap. 8vo, cloth gilt,
Lectures on the Poetical Literature of the Past Half-Cen-
tury. Third Edition, fcap. 8vo, 5s.
Life of Mansie Wauch. Crown 8vo, is. 6d.
MONTALEMBEKT. Count de Montalembert's History of the
Monks of the West. From St Benedict to St Bernard. Translated by Mrs
Oliphant. 5 vols. 8vo, £2, 12s. 6d.
Count de Montalembert's Monks of the West. Vols. VI.
and VII. completing the Work. [In the press.
■ Memoir of Count de Montalembert. A Chapter of Re-
cent French History. By Mrs Oliphant, Author of the 'Life of Edward
Irving,' &c. 2 vols, crown 8vo, £1, 4s.
NEAVES. A Glance at some of the Principles of Comparative
Philology. As illustrated in the Latin and Anglican Forms of Speech. By
the Hon. Lord Neaves. Crown 8vo, is. 6d.
Songs and Verses, Social and Scientific. By an Old Con-
tributor to ' Maga.' Fourth Edition, fcap. 8vo, 4s.
The Greek Anthology. Being Vol. XX. of ' Ancient Clas-
sics for English Readers.' Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d.
NICHOLSON. A Manual of Zoology, for the Use of Students.
With a General Introduction on the Principles of Zoology. By Henry Al-
leyne Nicholson, M.D., F.R.S.E., F.G.S., &c, Professor of Natural History
in the University of St Andrews. Fourth Edition, revised and enlarged.
Crown 8vo, pp. 732, with 300 Engravings on Wood, 12s. 6d.
Introductory Text-Book of Zoology, for the Use of Junior
Classes. A New Edition, revised and enlarged, with 136 Engravings, 3s.
- Text-Book of Zoology, for the Use of Schools. Second Edi-
tion, enlarged. Crown 8vo, with 188 Engravings on Wood. 6s.
- Outlines of Natural History, for Beginners ; being Descrip-
tions of a Progressive Series of Zoological Types. With 52 Engravings,
- A Manual of Palaeontology, for the Use of Students. With
a General Introduction on the Principles of Palaeontology. Crown 8vo, with up-
wards of 400 Engravings. 15s.
- The Ancient Life-History of the Earth. An Outline of the
Principles and Leading Facts of Paleeontological Science. Crown 8vo, with
numerous Engravings, 10s. 6d.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 17
NICHOLSON. Redeeming the Time, and other Sermons. By the
late Maxwell Nicholson, D.D., Minister of St Stephen's, Edinburgh. Crown
8vo, 7s. 6d.
Communion with Heaven, and other Sermons. Crown
8vo, 5s. 6d.
- Rest in Jesus. Sixth Edition. Fcap. 8vo, 4s. 6d.
NINA BALATKA. The Story of a Maiden of Prague. 2 vols.
small 8vo, ios. 6d., cloth.
OLIPHANT. Piccadilly: A Fragment of Contemporary Biography.
By Laurence Oliphant. With Eight Illustrations by Richard Doyle. 5th
Edition, 4s. 6d. Cheap Edition, in paper cover, 2s. 6d.
Narrative of Lord Elgin's Mission to China and Japan. Il-
lustrated with numerous Engravings in Chromo-Lithography, Maps, and En-
gravings on Wood, from Original Drawings and Photographs. Second Edition.
2 vols. 8vo, 21s.
Russian Shores of the Black Sea in the Autumn of 1852.
With a Voyage down the Volga and a Tour through the Country of the Don
Cossacks. 8vo, with Map and other Illustrations. Fourth Edition, 14s.
OLIPHANT. Historical Sketches of the Reign of George Second.
By Mrs Oliphant. Third Edition, 6s.
The Story of Valentine and his Brother. 5s., cloth.
Katie Stewart. 2s. 6d.
Salem Chapel. 2s. 6d., cloth.
The Perpetual Curate. 2s. 6d., cloth.
Miss Marjoribanks. 2s. 6d., cloth.
The Rector, and the Doctor's Family, is. 6d., cloth.
John : A Love Story. 2s. 6d., cloth.
OSBORN. Narratives of Voyage and Adventure. By Admiral
Sherard Osborn, C.B. 3 vols, crown- 8vo, 12s. Or separately :—
Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal ; or, Eighteen Months
in the Polar Regions in Search of Sir John Franklin's Expedition in 1850-51.
To which is added the Career, Last Voyage, and Fate of Captain Sir John
Franklin. New Edition, crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
The Discovery of a North-West Passage by H.M.S. Inves-
tigator, during the years 1850-51-52-53-54. Edited from the Logs and Journals of
Captain Robert C. M'Clure. Fourth Edition, crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
Quedah ; A Cruise in Japanese Waters : and, The Fight on
the Peiho. New Edition, crown 8vo, 5s.
OSSIAN. The Poems of Ossian in the Original Gaelic. With a
Literal Translation into English, and a Dissertation on the Authenticity of the
Poems By the Rev. Archibald Clerk. 2 vols, imperial 8vo, £1, us. 6d.
18 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
OUTRAM. Lyrics, Legal and Miscellaneous. By George Out-
ram, Esq., Advocate. Edited, with Introductory Notice, by Henry Glass-
ford Bell, Esq., Advocate, Sheriff of Lanarkshire. Third Edition. Fcap.
8vo, 48. 6d.
PAGE. Introductory Text-Book of Geology. By David Page,
LL.D. , Professor of Geology in the Durham University of Physical Science,
Newcastle. With Engravings on Wood and Glossarial Index. Tenth Edition,
- Advanced Text-Book of Geology, Descriptive and Indus-
trial. With Engravings, and Glossary of Scientific Terms. Sixth Edition, re-
vised and enlarged, 7s. 6d.
- Handbook of Geological Terms, Geology, and Physical Geo-
graphy. Second Edition, enlarged, 7s. 6d.
- Geology for General Readers. A Series of Popular Sketches
in Geology and Paleontology. Third Edition, enlarged, 6s.
- Chips and Chapters. A Book for Amateurs and Young
The Past and Present Life of the Globe. "With numerous
Illustrations. Crown 8vo, 6s.
- The Crust of the Earth : A Handy Outline of Geology.
- Economic Geology ; or, Geology in its relation to the Arts
and Manufactures. Witli Engravings, and Coloured Map of the British Islands.
Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
- Introductory Text-Book of Physical Geography. With
Sketch-Maps and Illustrations. Eighth Edition, 2s. 6d.
Advanced Text-Book of Physical Geography. Second Edi-
tion. With Engravings. 5s.
PAGET. Paradoxes and Puzzles : Historical, Judicial, and Literary.
Now for the first time published in Collected Form. By John Paget, Barris-
ter-at-Law. 8vo, 12s.
PATON. Spindrift. By Sir J. Noel Paton. Fcap., cloth, 5s.
Poems by a Painter. Fcap., cloth, 5s.
PATTERSON. Essays in History and Art. By R. H. Patterson.
PAUL. History of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's
Body-Guard for Scotland. By James Balfour Paul, Advocate of the Scottish
Bar. Crown 4to, with Portraits and other Illustrations. £2, 2s.
PAUL. Analysis and Critical Interpretation of the Hebrew Text of
the Book of Genesis. Preceded by a Hebrew Grammar, and Dissertations on
the Genuineness of the Pentateuch, and on the Structure of the Hebrew Lan-
guage. By the Rev. William Paul, A.M. 8vo, 18s.
PETTIGREW. The Handy-Book of Bees, and their Profitable
Management. By A. Pettigrew. Third Edition, with Engravings. Crown
8vo, 3s. 6d.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 19
POLLOK. The Course of Time : A Poem. By Eobert Pollok,
A.M. Small fcap. 8vo, cloth gilt, 2s. 6d. The Cottage Edition, 321110, sewed,
8d. The Same, cloth, gilt edges, is. 6d. Another Edition, with Illustrations
by Birket Foster and others, leap., gilt cloth, 3s. 6d., or with edges gilt, 4s.
An Illustrated Edition of the Course of Time. The Illus-
trations by Birket Foster, Tenniel, and Clayton. Large 8vo, bound in cloth,
richly gilt, 21s.
PORT ROYAL LOGIC. Translated from the French : with Intro-
duction, Notes, and Appendix. By Thomas Spencer Baynes, LL.B., Pro-
fessor in the University oi' tit Andrews. Seventh Edition, i2ino, 4s.
POTTS and DARNELL. Aditus Faciliores : An easy Latin Con-
struing Book, with Complete Vocabulary. By A. W. Potts, M.A., LL.D.,
Head-Master of the Fettes College, Edinburgh, and sometime Fellow of St
John's College, Cambridge; and the Rev. C. Darnell. M.A., Head-Master of
Cargilrleld Preparatory School, Edinburgh, and late Scholar of Pembroke and
Downing Colleges, Cambridge. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo, 3s. 6d.
PRAYERS. Family Prayers : Authorised by the General Assembly
of the Church of Scotland. A New Edition, crown 8vo, in large type, 4s. 6d.
Another Edition, crown 8vo, 2s.
■ Prayers for Social and Family Worship. For the Use of
Soldiers, bailors, Colqnists, and Sojourners in India, and other persons, at
home and abroad, who are deprived of the ordinary services of a Christian
Ministry. Cheap Edition, is. 6d.
PRINGLE. The Live Stock of the Farm. By Robert 0. Pringle.
Second Edition, Revised, crown 8vo, 9s.
PUBLIC GENERAL STATUTES AFFECTING SCOTLAND,
from 1707 to 1847, with Chronological Table and Index. 3 vols, large 8vo,
PUBLIC GENERAL STATUTES AFFECTING SCOTLAND,
COLLECTION OF. Published Annually with General Index.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THE: Winchester— Westminster— Shrews-
bury— Harrow — Rugby. Notes of their History and Traditions. By the
Author of ' Etoniana.' Crown 8vo, 8s. 6d.
RAMSAY. Two Lectures on the Genius of Handel, and the Dis-
tinctive Character of his Sacred Compositions. Delivered to the Members of
the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution. By the Very Rev. Dean Ramsay,
Author of 'Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character.' Crown 8vo, 3s. 6cl.
READE. A Woman-Hater. By Charles Reade. 3 vols, crown
8vo, £1, 5s. 6d. Originally published in ' Blackwood's Magazine.'
RINK. Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo. With a Sketch of
their Habits, Religion, Language, and other Peculiarities. By Dr Henry
Rink, Director of the Royal Greenland Board of Trade, and formerly Inspector
of South Greenland. Translated from the Danish by the Author. Edited by
Dr Robert Brown, F. L. S. , F. R. G. S. With numerous Illustrations, drawn and
engraved by Eskimo. Crown 8vo, 10s. 6d.
ROGERS. The Geology of Pennsylvania : A Government Survey ;
with a General View of the Geology of the United States, Essays on the Coal
Formation and its Fossils, and a Description of the Coal-Fields of North Ame-
rica and Great Britain. By Professor Henry Darwin Rogers, F.R.S., F.G.S.,
Professor of Natural History in the University of Glasgow. With Seven large
Maps, and numerous Illustrations engraved on Copper and on Wood. 3 vols,
royal 4to, £8, 8s.
20 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
EUSTOW. The War for the Rhine Frontier, 1870: Its Political
and Military History. By Col. W. Rijstow. Translated from the German,
by John Layland Needham, Lieutenant R.M. Artillery. 3 vols. 8vo, with
Maps and Plans, £1, us. 6d.
ST STEPHENS ; or, Illustrations of Parliamentary Oratory. A
Poem. Comprising— ~Pym— Vane— Strafford— Halifax— Shaftesbury— St John
— Sir R. Walpole — Chesterfield — Carteret — Chatham — Pitt— Fox — Burke-
Sheridan — Wilberforce — Wyndham — Conway — Castlereagh — William Lamb
(Lord Melbourne)— Tierney— Lord Gray — O'Connell— Plunkett— Shiel— Follett
Macaulay — Peel. Second Edition, crown 8vo, 5s.
SANDFORD. The Great Governing Families of England. By J.
Langton Sandford and Meredith Townsend. 2 vols. 8vo, 15s., in extra
binding, with richly-gilt cover.
SCHETKY. Ninety Years of Work and Play. Sketches from the
Public and Private Career of John Christian Schetky, late Marine Painter in
Ordinary to the Queen. By his Daughter. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
SELLAR. The Education (Scotland) Act, 1872. With Introduction,
Explantory Notes, and Index. By A. C. Sellar. New Edition. [In the press.
SELLER and STEPHENS. Physiology at the Farm ; in Aid of
Rearing and Feeding the Live Stock. By William Seller, M.D., F.R.S.E.,
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, formerly Lecturer on
Materia Medica and Dietetics ; and Henry Stephens, F.R.S.E., Author of the
1 Book of the Farm,' &c. Post 8vo, with Engravings, 16s.
SIMPSON. Paris after Waterloo : A Revised Edition of a " Visit
to Flanders and the Field of Waterloo." By James Simpson, Advocate. With
2 coloured Plans of the Battle. Crown 8vo, 5s.
SMITH. Italian Irrigation : A Report on the Agricultural Canals
of Piedmont and Lombardy, addressed to the Hon. the Directors of the East
India Company ; with an Appendix, containing a Sketch of the Irrigation Sys-
tem of Northern and Central India. By Lieut. -Col. R. Baird Smith, F.G. S.,
Captain, Bengal Engineers. Second Edition. 2 vols. 8vo, with Atlas in folio,
SMITH. Thorndale ; or, The Conflict of Opinions. By William
Smith, Author of 'A Discourse on Ethics,' &c. Second Edition. Crown 8vo,
Gravenhurst ; or, Thoughts on Good and Evil. Second
Edition, with Memoir of the Author. Crown 8vo, 8s.
- A Discourse on Ethics of the School of Paley. 8vo, 4s.
- Dramas. 1. Sir William Crichton. 2. Athelwold.
Guidone. 24mo, boards, 3s.
SOUTHEY. Poetical Works of Caroline Bowles Southey. Fcap.
The Birthday, and other Poems. Second Edition, 5s.
SPEKE. What led to the Discovery of the Nile Source. By John
Hanning Speke, Captain H.M. Indian Army. 8vo, with Maps, &c, 14s.
Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. By
J. H. Speke, Captain H.M. Indian Army. With a Map of Eastern Equatorial
Africa by Captain Speke ; numerous illustrations, chiefly from Drawings by
Captain Grant ; and Portraits, engraved on Steel, of Captains Speke and
Grant. 8vo, 21s.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 21
STARFORTH. Villa Residences and Farm Architecture : A Series
of Designs. By John Starforth, Architect. 102 Engravings. Second Edi-
tion, medium 4to, £2, 17s. 6d.
STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND. Complete, with
Index, 15 vols. 8vo, ^16, 16s. Each County sold separately, with Title, Index,
and Map, neatly bound in cloth, forming a very valuable Manual to the Land-
owner, the Tenant, the Manufacturer, the Naturalist, the Tourist, &c.
STEPHENS. The Book of the Farm ; detailing the Labours of the
Farmer, Farm-Steward, Ploughman, Shepherd, Hedger, Farm-Labourer, Field-
Worker, and Cattleman. By Henry Stephens, F.R.S.E. Illustrated with
Portraits of Animals painted from the life ; and with 557 Engravings on Wood,
representing the principal Field Operations, Implements, and Animals treated
of in the Work. A New and Revised Edition, the third, in great part Re-
written. 2 vols, large 8vo, £2, 10s.
The Book of Farm-Buildings ; their Arrangement and
Construction. By Henry Stephens, F.R.S.E., Author of 'The Book of the
Farm ; ' and Robert Scott Burn. Illustrated with 1045 Plates and En-
gravings. Large 8vo, uniform with ' The Book of the Farm,' &c. £i, us. 6d.
The Book of Farm Implements and Machines. By J.
Slight and R. Scott Burn, Engineers. Edited by Henry Stephens. Large
8vo, uniform with ' The Book of the Farm,' £2, 2s.
Catechism of Practical Agriculture. With Engravings, is.
STEWART. Advice to Purchasers of Horses. By John Stewart,
V.S. Author of 'Stable Economy.' 2s. 6d.
Stable Economy. A Treatise on the Management of
Horses in relation to Stabling, Grooming, Feeding, Watering, and Working.
Seventh Edition, fcap. 8vo, 6s. 6d.
STORY. Graffiti D'ltalia. By W. W. Story, Author of ' Roba cli
Roma.' Second Edition, fcap. 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Nero ; A Historical Play. Fcap. 8vo, 6s.
STORMONTH. Etymological and Pronouncing Dictionary of the
English Language. Including a very Copious Selection of Scientific Terms.
For Use in Schools and Colleges, and as a Book of General Reference. By the
Rev. James Stormonth. The Pronunciation carefully Revised by the Rev.
P. H. Phelp, M.A. Cantab. Fourth Edition, crown 8vo, pp. 755. 7s. 6d.
The School Etymological Dictionary and Word-Book.
Combining the advantages of an ordinary pronouncing School Dictionary and
an Etymological Spelling-book. Fcap. 8vo, pp. 254. 2s.
STRICKLAND. Lives of the Queens of Scotland, and English
Princesses connected with the Regal Succession of Great Britain. By Agnes
Strickland. With Portraits and Historical Vignettes. 8 vols, post 8vo,
£4, 4 s -
SUTHERLAND. Handbook of Hardy Herbaceous and Alpine
Flowers, for general Garden Decoration. Containing Descriptions, in Plain
Language, of upwards of 1000 Species of Ornamental Hardy Perennial and
Alpine Plants, adapted to all classes of Flower-Gardens, Rockwork, and
Waters ; along with Concise and Plain Instructions for their Propagation and
Culture. By William Sutherland, Gardener to the Earl of Minto ; formerly
Manager of the Herbaceous Department at Kew. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
22 LIST OF BOOKS PUBLISHED BY
SWAINSON. A Handbook of Weather Folk-Lore. Being a Col-
lection of Proverbial Sayings in various Languages relating to the Weather,
■with Explanatory and Illustrative Notes. By the Rev. C. Swainson, M.A.,
Vicar of High Hurst Wood. Fcap. 8vo, Roxburghe binding, 6s. 6d.
SWAYNE. Lake Victoria : A Narrative of Explorations in Search
of the Source of the Nile. Compiled from the Memoirs of Captains Speke and
Grant. By George C. Swayne, M.A., late Fellow of Corpus Christi College,
Oxford. Illustrated with Woodcuts and Map. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
SYMONDSON. Two Years Abaft the Mast: or, Life as a Sea
Ax>prentice. By F. W. II. Symondson. 5s.
TAYLOR. The Story of My Life. By the late Colonel Meadows
Taylor, Author of the 'Confessions of a Thug,' &c. &c. Edited by his •
Daughter. 2 vols. 8vo.
Tara ; A Mahratta Tale. 3 vols, post 8vo, £1, us. 6d.
Ralph Darnell. A Novel. 3 vols, post 8vo, £i, us. 6d.
THOLUCK. Hours of Christian Devotion. Translated from the
German of A. Tholuck, D. D. , Professor of Theology in the University of Halle.
By the Rev. Robert Menzies, D. D. With a Preface written for this Transla-
tion by the Author. Second Edition, crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
THOMSON. Handy-Book of the Flower-Garden : being Practical
Directions for the Propagation, Culture, and Arrangement of Plants in Flower-
Gardens all the year round. Embracing all classes of Gardens, from the largest
to the smallest. With Engraved and Coloured Plans, illustrative of the various
systems of Grouping in Beds and Borders. By David Thomson, Gardener to
his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch, KG., at Drumlanrig. Third Edition, crown
8vo, 7s. 6d.
The Handy-Book of Fruit-Culture under Glass : being a
series of Elaborate Practical Treatises on the Cultivation and Forcing of Pines,
Vines, Peaches, Figs, Melons, Strawberries, and Cucumbers. With Engravings
of Hothouses, &c., most suitable for the Cultivation of and Forcing of these
Fruits. Crown 8vo, with Engravings, 7s. 6d.
THOMSON. A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the Grape-
VINE. By William Thomson, Tweed Vineyards. Eighth Edition, enlarged.
TOM CRINGLE'S LOG. A New Edition, with Illustrations.
Crown 8vo, 6s.
TULLOCH. Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy in Eng-
land in the Seventeenth Century. By John Tulloch, D.D., Principal of St
Mary's College in the University of St Andrews ; and one of her Majesty's
Chaplains in Ordinary in Scotland. Second Edition. 2 vols. 8vo, 28s.
Some Facts of Religion and of Life. Sermons Preached
before her Majesty the Queen in Scotland, 1866-76. Second Edition, crown
8vo, 7s. 6d.
The Christian Doctrine of Sin ; being the Croal Lecture
for 1876. Crown 8vo, 6s.
Religion and Theology. A Sermon Preached in the Parish
Church of Crathie. Second Edition, is.
Theism. The Witness of Reason and Nature to an All-
Wise and Beneficent Creator. 8vo, 10s. 6d.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 23
TRANSACTIONS OF THE HIGHLAND AND AGRICUL-
TURAL SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND. Published annually, price 5s.
TYTLER. The Wonder-Seeker; or, The History of Charles Douglas.
By M. Fraser Tytler, Author of 'Tales of the Great and Brave,' &c. A New
Edition. Fcap., 3s. 6d.
VIRGIL. The ^Eneid of Virgil. Translated in English Blank
Verse by G. K. Rickards, M.A., and Lord Ravensworth. 2 vols. fcap. 8vo,
WALFORD. Mr Smith : A Part of his Life. By L. B. Walford.
Cheap Edition, 3s. 6d.
WARREN'S (SAMUEL) WORKS. People's Edition, 4 vols, crown
8vo, cloth, 18s. Or separately : —
Diary of a Late Physician. 3s. 6d. Illustrated, crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Ten Thousand A- Year. 5s.
Now and Then. Lily and Bee. Intellectual and Moral Devel-
opment of the Present Age. 4s. 6d.
Essays : Critical, Imaginative, and Juridical. 5s.
WELLINGTON. Wellington Prize Essays on "the System of Field
Manoeuvres best adapted for enabling our Troops to meet a Continental Army."
Edited by Col. E. B. Hamley. 8vo, 12s. 6d.
WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY. Minutes of the Westminster As-
sembly, while engaged in preparing their Directory for Church Government,
Confession of Faith, and Catechisms (November 1644 to March 1649). Printed
from Transcripts of the Originals procured by the General Assembly of the
Church of Scotland. Edited by the Rev. Alex. T. Mitchell, D.D., Professor
of Ecclesiastical History in the University of St Andrews, and the Rev. John
Struthers, LL.D., Minister of Prestonpans. With a Historical and Critical
Introduction by Professor Mitchell. 8vo, price 15s.
WHITE. The Eighteen Christian Centuries. By the Rev. James
White, Author of 'The History of France.' Seventh Edition, post8vo, with
History of France, from the Earliest Times. Fifth Edition,
post 8vo, with Index, 6s.
WHITE. Archaeological Sketches in Scotland — Kintyre and Knap-
dale. By Captain T. P. White, R.E., of the Ordnance Survey. With numer-
ous Illustrations. 2 vols., folio, £4, .4s. Vol. I., Kintyre, sold separately,
WILLS. Charles the First : An Historical Tragedy in Four Acts.
By W. G. Wills. 8vo, 2s. 6d.
Drawing-room Dramas for Children. By the Same and
the Hon. Mrs Greene. Crown 8vo, 6s.
WILSON. The " Ever- Victorious Army:" A History of the
Chinese Campaign under Lieut. -Col. C. G. Gordon, and of the Suppression of
the Tai-ping Rebellion. By Andrew Wilson, F.A.S.L. 8vo, with Maps, 15s.
The Abode of Snow : Observations on a Journey from
Chinese Tibet to the Indian Caucasus, through the Upper Valleys of the
Himalaya. New Edition. Crown 8vo, with Map, ios. 6d.
24 LIST OF BOOKS, ETC.
WILSON. Works of Professor Wilson. Edited by his Son-in-Law
Professor Ferrier. 12 vols, crown 8vo, £2, 8s.
Other Works of Professor Wilson.
Christopher in his Sporting-Jacket. 2 vols., 8s.
Isle of Palms, City of the Plague, and other Poems. 4s.
Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life, and other Tales. 4s.
Essays, Critical and Imaginative. 4 vols., 16s.
■ The Noctes Ambrosianse. Complete, 4 vols., 14s.
The Comedy of the Noctes Ambrosianse. By Christopher
North. Edited by John Skelton, Advocate. With a Portrait of Professor
Wilson and of the Ettrick Shepherd, engraved on Steel. Crown 8vo, 7s. 6d.
Homer and his Translators, and the Greek Drama. Crown
WING ATE. Poems and Songs. By David Wingate. Fcap.
Annie Weir, and other Poems. Fcap. 8vo, 5s.
WORSLEY. Poems and Translations. By Philip Stanhope
Worsley, M.A. Edited by Edward Worsley. Second Edition, enlarged.
Fcap. 8vo, 6s.
YULE. Fortification : for the Use of Officers in the Army, and
Readers of Military History. By Col. Yule, Bengal Engineers. 8vo, with
numerous Illustrations, 10s. 6d.
DB Crosse, Andrew F.
726 Round about the Carpathians
PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY